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Remote Access with OpenAthens: About OpenAthens

What is Single Sign-On (SSO) with OpenAthens? (0.52 min)

MSK Library & OpenAthens

OpenAthens: Authentication Method for MSK Library Resources

Connect to Library Resources: Getting Started
MSK Library uses OpenAthens as a system of authentication for online access to licensed resources. This guide provides documentation for accessing, using, and troubleshooting Library resources online. 

If you experience any resource access issue, please send an email to

OpenAthens is an identity and IP-based authentication system that provides access to the Library's licensed online resources via single sign-on (SSO) technology.  This authentication method has the following advantages:

  • Improved account security – OpenAthens authenticates using a secure method (SAML).
  • Comprehensive usage statistics show how often content is accessed and by which users, giving insight into the value of our subscriptions.
  • Federated access underpins the SeamlessAccess service, meaning single sign-on can persist across vendor platforms, allowing users to navigate seamlessly between databases.


What You Should Know

You will now be able to use your MSK credentials to authenticate to the Library's online licensed content remotely when on VPN or off VPN.

On-campus IP Authentication
The MSK Library will continue to provide IP authentication on-campus, so there will be no change to the way you access online resources when onsite.

Remote OpenAthens Authentication (on or off VPN)
For remote authentication (on or off VPN) to the Library's licensed resources, you can now use your MSK credentials. Each OpenAthens session will last for eight hours. During that time, you should not be asked to authenticate again, regardless of the number of different resources you access. 

Previously our VPN mirrored our onsite IP range. This allowed users to obtain full access to our licensed resources without having to use the Library's authentication setup and links. With the launch of MSK's GlobalProtect VPN, users will no longer be able to authenticate via IP to the Library's licensed resources. To ensure that users are accessing links that include the Library’s authentication information, we strongly recommend navigating to the Library Remote Access via the MSK Secure Login page to obtain access to the Library's licensed resources.