Access to e-resources

Aberystwyth University pays for a A-Z of Resources to support the University's teaching, learning and research. The service providers for these resources (such as databases and electronic journals) obviously restrict access to those who have paid, and therefore need to know who is trying to access the resource so that they can restrict access to those who subscribe.

One way to do this is for the service provider to check the IP address of the PC you are using. We use this for as many resources as possible, so that when you are using a workstation on-campus you get automatic access to these resources - and you can achieve the same thing off-campus or from home by using a VPN Connection which places your PC on the university network, without being physically connected to it. This has applied in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.

The other way to control access is via a password (which then works whether you are on- or off-campus). The  and/or  buttons which we put next to links to e-resources on our web pages have always indicated which system (or both) is used for access, and this will continue to be the case for the near future. Not all resources require you to login, so if in doubt check those buttons for the relevant resource.

Where passwords have been used, for many years UK educational institutions have been using the Athens authentication system to access e-resources and e-journals. However there is now a move towards a next-generation system for accessing resources, and since 1st August 2008 Aberystwyth University is no longer using the Athens system - instead we are using this next-generation system to access some of our subscribed e-resources.

"How will this affect me?"

Firstly, it won't mean more passwords to remember. As with the Athens system, you will use your Aberystwyth University login and password to access some of our subscribed e-resources - the same password you use to log into an Aberystwyth University workstation, or to check your Aberystwyth email.

What it will mean is that instead of looking for a login box that says 'Athens' when you go directly to some e-resources, you will look for a box that says one of the following. Note that once this new system has become standardised across the UK, service providers will probably settle on just one of these terms - but for now there are a few possibilities you need to be aware of.

HOWEVER, we recommend using a VPN connection which will mimic a campus computer and will enable easier access to e-resources and ejournals

What to look for when you go to a subscribed resource and want to log into it

Password Request Dialog
(As presented by Internet Explorer 7)

Use your AU login (without the and password here

 UK Federation:  
 UK Access Management Federation:  
 Institutional login (two examples)
(don't click on the 'Athens Login' option and don't enter your AU login and password in these boxes here!):

If you see none of these, you may need to click on a small line marked 'Alternative login'.

You may then be asked what institution you are with. Select 'Aberystwyth University'. Then login with your Aberystwyth University username (without the '') and password. You will then be taken back to the site you were trying to access.

Note that once you have logged in successfully, as long as your browser (e.g. Firefox or Internet Explorer) remains open, you will also get access to any other subscribed e-resources automatically.

This is a change in access methods for the whole of the UK, and won't take place overnight - as time goes on, more and more resources will move to this system. However, until they do so there may be an interim period when there are different access methods for different resources. We will be updating our information as and when changes take place, but please bear with us - and if you run into any problems, or have any questions, then contact us.

Also note that we have now launched a new software tool called Primo. This will not only let you search across multiple databases at once, but it will also simplify access to e-resources, because once you have logged into Primo you won't then need to login to each database separately.