Introducing OpenAthens, UBC Library’s new secure way to access online resources using CWL

Following a year of hard work, UBC Library has announced the launch of OpenAthens on June 2, 2021.  OpenAthens is a secure login service for digital, licensed resources (books, journals, media, data). Library users now have the option of securely logging in from anywhere using OpenAthens via the library web site and library-managed URLs or with direct access from their favourite federated resource providers.

The new access model consists of library patrons using their CWL to login once to access Library eResource providers. Start your search at and go directly to the resource or use a search tool like Google Scholar. For details, including tips for accessing library resources and recommended actions for instructors to update course material links, please visit the OpenAthens LibGuide.   For help with problems encountered accessing resources, visit the library support portal

Jennifer Orme, Course Reserves Supervisor for the David Lam Library and Canaccord Learning Commons, has been reviewing and adjusting links in new reading list submissions that she has received, in anticipation of this change.  If you encounter specific problems with your course reserves, you can contact Jennifer directly at

Susan Parker, University Librarian has stated that “The launch of OpenAthens marks a major milestone in modernizing library and digital access for UBC’s 21st century learners and researchers. Congratulations and thank you to the OpenAthens Implementation Working Group on your exceptional accomplishment. This important foundational work will enable many exciting digital innovations for the library in the future.”

It is important to note that the transition to OpenAthens will take some time. Library users should anticipate some inconsistencies as we update processes, URLs and access methods. For a brief time, OpenAthens will run in parallel with EZproxy and IP address authentication which will ensure uninterrupted access to resources.

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