Who is eligible for an OpenAthens account?

NHS OpenAthens accounts are available to all NHS and public health staff, and many other health and social care staff on NHS commissioned work.

Your application will be reviewed against the eligibility criteria to ensure that you receive the appropriate level of access.

What can I access with my account?

You will have access to nationally purchased content and, depending on the organisation you select at registration, you may also have access to regionally and locally purchased content.

Your account will not provide you with access to every OpenAthens protected resource but only those purchased by the NHS in England.

How can I speed up the application process?

Which email address should I use?

We recommended that you use your professional, work or academic email address.

If this is not possible, you can register with your personal email address but your application may require further review by an OpenAthens administrator. This will slow the approval process down.

Where should I complete the registration form?

If you work for the NHS and register at your place of work, it is possible that OpenAthens will detect your IP address and consider you auto-eligible.

If you are unable to register from work, or if your IP address is not recognised, your application may need further review by an OpenAthens administrator. This will slow the approval process down.

Once registered, you will be able to log in with your OpenAthens account from any location.

How do I find my organisation?

You must register to the correct OpenAthens organisation so that the system can recognise the online content you are eligible to access.

  • Enter and select your organisation name in the ‘Please enter your organisation’ box on the registration form.
  • You can enter a couple of letters and a list of possible options will appear.
  • Continue to type the name of your organisation until it becomes available for selection.

If the organisation you work for is not on the list displayed, the system has not recognised your organisation. If this is the case, you may find the guidance available on the page helpful.

I do not work for an NHS organisation but I am eligible. Which organisation should I select?

If you do not work in an NHS trust or hospital (for example you are a GP, dentist, community nurse, public health consultant, pharmacist or social worker), please refer to the guidance on the page about the naming protocols for OpenAthens organisations to help you make the appropriate selection.

For example, if you are a GP in Manchester you can find your organisation by typing 'Primary care' and 'Manchester' and selecting the organisation 'Primary care and ICB staff in Greater Manchester'.

If you cannot find your organisation and the system does not recognise the one you have entered, you will be prompted to select the county in which you work when you click on the 'Register' button. Your application will then be sent to the appropriate OpenAthens administrator for review.

How do I register as a student?

Healthcare students at higher education institutions with a University NHS OpenAthens administrator are entitled to an OpenAthens account for the duration of their course. Students at these universities will have accounts set up for them by their administrator and should not attempt to register online.

Healthcare students can also register for an OpenAthens account while on placement within a NHS organisation, for the duration of the placement:

  • Enter and select the name of the organisation at which you are on placement.
  • Select 'Students - placements' under ‘Job role’.
  • You will be allocated an account for 6 months to cover the duration of your placement.

To renew your account, please contact the OpenAthens administrator for the NHS organisation you are on placement with.

I’m having trouble with my self-registration - what should I do?

If you are still having trouble with your self-registration, please contact your local administrator or regional administrator.