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How to access our electronic databases and journals

What is authentication?

Authentication is a way to verify that users are entitled to access the paid for content of a database or resource provided by a publisher or service provider. There are different types of authentication for different groups of users. The university is part of the UK Higher Education or UK Federation which uses Shibboleth/OpenAthens. Most of our resources are compatible with Shibboleth/OpenAthens.

How does it work?

Once you select the link to a resource from the university portal, behind the scenes our system communicates with the service provider or publisher. Usually you are required to select the name of the university from a list of institutions. Depending on the resource you may also have to re-enter your computer ID and password on the university portal login screen.

On vs. Off campus

Access to eresources is more seamless when you are logging in from a university PC as you are connecting from an authorised location. When you are off campus you are usually required to select the name of the university from a list of institutions.

Single sign-on via the portal

The university uses single sign-on which means that you need to enter your computer ID and password to log into the portal to access eresources while authenticating. Terminology differs across resources so when signing in you may be required to select any of the following:

Sign in, Log in, Login via your institution, Institutional login, academic login, Institutional access, Federated login.

Look out for the institutional/OpenAthens/Shibboleth login option. Sometimes you will have to select the UK Access Management Federation or UK Higher Education grouping first before selecting the university from a List of UK institutions. 

Never enter your portal login anywhere other than the university portal or the OpenAthens login screen.

Getting help

If you are having problems connecting to an eresource you should complete a portal support request form in the first instance. You can also check our library blog to see if the resource you are trying to connect to is experiencing downtime.

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