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OpenAthens: Privacy and Security

This guide provides information about OpenAthens, the library's authentication system for electronic resources.

Privacy Notice

OpenAthens collects detailed statistics on which resources are being accessed by users. The library uses aggregate data to evaluate the usage of licensed resources and to better meet the informational needs of the KU community. The library will never share this data.


OpenAthens connects with KU's directory to allow users to login with their KU username and password to access licensed online resources. SAML-based authentication allows users to securely access these resources.

OpenAthens has mechanisms in place to quickly identify potential data security breaches or cyberattacks. KU library staff is alerted when unusual behavior is detected. If OpenAthens detects that an individual account has been compromised, that account is temporarily disabled, which prevents a provider from having to shut down access for our entire institution.