What is OpenAthens?

OpenAthens is a username and password system which controls access to web-based subscription services. Organisations, such as the NHS and universities, can use OpenAthens to provide their employees or students with access to resources the organisation has purchased. This means that you may be entitled to more than one athens username and password, depending on how many organisations you are affiliated with.

Student placements

Students on placement may register via their University for an NHS OpenAthens  account (giving them access to NHS national core content resources) and additionally may register for an OpenAthens account with their NHS placement organisation (giving them access to locally purchased online resources when on placement).

Logging in

If you have an OpenAthens account already you can log in at

Troubleshooting OpenAthens issues- to find out about current issues/incidents see:

How do I register for an OpenAthens account?

1 – Register for an OpenAthens User Name:

Go to:

Step 1 – OpenAthens account eligibility and email

  •    check eligibility criteria and confirm acceptance
  •    enter email address n.b. this should be an nhs or otherwise approved email address – do not use a personal email address as this will be rejected.

Step 2 – Organisation Start to type in your organisation before selecting from the list that appears below.  The organisations you should be using are:

  • Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • GPs and practice staff in Oxfordshire
  • Commissioning in the South West, Thames Valley and Wessex 
  • Public health staff in England.

Step 3 – Your Details. Complete all sections

  • Data Protection – tick to accept terms and conditions
  • Submit details 
  • On the following page under Account details summary, make a note of your Username.

 2.  Create your OpenAthens password

  • An activation email will be sent to the email address you used for your registration.
  • Check your Junk and Spam inboxes if you can’t find it.
  • The sender is: Eduserv Athens
  • The subject line is: Activate your NHS OpenAthens account
  • Click on the link in the email asap to create your password. The password must have a minimum of 8 characters, contain a number, and must not contain ascending or descending sequences (eg ABC or 123) or it will be rejected.

If you register from a NHSnet computer, you will receive an athens username immediately. If you register from any other computer, it make take up to 15 working days for you to receive a username as your details will need to be verified. Please contact library staff if you have any problems registering for athens or any queries about your athens account.

Do I need to re-register on changing from one trust or institution to another?

If you already have an OpenAthens username and password from another institution or trust, change to Oxford Health NHS FT (where eligible) or other appropriate ‘home’ organisation  to ensure you get access to all the resources you are now entitled to.

  •  Step 1- Change your organisation.  Log into MyAccount with your NHS OpenAthens username and password. Change your Trust or Organisation.
  •  Step 2 – Reset your NHS OpenAthens password. You will be sent an email containing a link. Click on the link to reset your Athens password.

Page last reviewed: 27 January, 2024