OpenAthens Logo

The Libraries are working with campus Information Technology Services this fall to make remote access to library resources easier and faster.

This is first major change to library database access since telnet / NCSA Mosaic days – so we want to keep everyone posted on our progress on this important project.

Since the early 1990s, the Libraries have used a proxy server to give off-campus users an “IP” (an internet address) that made their device appear to be on campus.  Beginning in January 2020, the Libraries will instead offer remote access through a world-wide service known as OpenAthens.

About OpenAthens

OpenAthens is an identity and IP-based authentication system that provides access to our licensed online resources via single sign-on (SSO) technology.  OpenAthens offers a more secure and reliable experience for our remote users, without the “proxy error,” “cache error.” “upstream error” and other annoyances that have proliferated in the last few years.

On-campus users will still navigate directly to resources without a login.  Off-campus users will see the familiar campus login page and will use their UARK email and password for access to resources.

UARK Sigle sign on screen

Researchers who happen to discover an item of interest may also log in to library resources through a “Login through your institution” link on most publisher websites.  Though the navigation will vary a bit on each individual platform, you will usually be asked to specify “University of Arkansas” and then login with your UARK email and password.

Choose your organization to logi

So what’s up with the British spelling?

You couldn’t help noticing “organisation”  could you?  OpenAthens is a federation originally developed in 1996 for UK colleges and universities.  The system is now in use worldwide by more than 2,600 libraries and organizations, including a rapidly expanding list of US members.

Tell me more

As you can imagine, we’ve got lots of updates to do between now and early 2020.  We’ll be posting information on updating your library links, testing access, reporting problems, and more soon. Watch for blog and social media posts tagged #UARKOpenAthens for updates.  And please send us your questions to  We are looking forward to working with you to make the Libraries Open for All.