OpenAthens Implementation, 2022-2023

What is it?

OpenAthens is a single sign-on authentication system (like Shibboleth) that works with Okta to connect users to WSU Libraries online resources. Rather than making users sign in to an additional screen to access online resources, users will either be prompted with the Okta sign-in screen or be taken straight to the online resource if they have already authenticated through Okta. Not all vendors are able to use OpenAthens to authenticate users. Some vendors and platforms will still need to be proxied. Once we move completely to OpenAthens (tentative date: January 2023) these vendors will be proxied through OpenAthens and not EzProxy.

What does it look like?

Resources with OpenAthens authentication
  Resources with OpenAthens Proxied

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What are the potential implications of this change?

  • The streamlined process eliminates an additional sign-in, which makes the user experience more seamless, but also makes the WSU Libraries role in patron access less visible. Rather than telling users that they know they’re accessing online resources through The Libraries because of the sign-in process, it may be necessary to tell users to look for the WSU Libraries logo in the database interface.

What is the implementation timeline?

  • Fall Semester 2022: Internal testing with Reference and Instruction groups
  • January 2023: Production switch-over of all patron-facing links and access