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Database Troubleshooting

This guide provides an overview of OpenAthens, allows you to report an access problem, and provides troubleshooting guidance on specific database access.

What is OpenAthens?

OpenAthens enables seamless, secure access to most* databases and library resources anytime, anywhere via single sign-on (SSO).

Benefits of OpenAthens:

  • One username and password for library databases, including the catalog and eBooks.
  • Database access is independent of all Commerce networks; you will log in the same way regardless of whether you are logged onto a network.
  • Log into any resource once and OpenAthens will automatically keep you authenticated for all eligible resources for 8 hours - no need to log in multiple times!
  • Staff of the Herbert C. Hoover Building (HCHB) in Washington DC and ITA staff worldwide, may directly access the Financial TimesWall Street Journal and PressReader, allowing users to personalize and fully access their mobile apps.
  • Users will automatically receive access to all resources they are eligible for, based on bureau and duty station.

* Access the Bloomberg Terminal and D&B Hoovers via standalone accounts, not through OpenAthens.

Tips & Tricks

  • Whenever possible, access the Library's databases from the Databases A-Z.
  • If saving a link or creating a bookmark to one of the Library's databases, click on the Share () icon to the right of the database title and copy the friendly URL, then save it as a bookmark (and NOT the link it redirects to).
  • If accessing a resource directly through a publisher website without going through the Library website, look for an Institutional Login (wording may vary by database), select Commerce Research Library from the institution list, and log in using your OpenAthens credentials.
  • Sometimes browser caching may cause problems accessing the Library's resources. Try clearing the browser cache and restarting the browser if you experience access issues.


Register now to establish an OpenAthens account. Within a business day, the Library will verify your request and release an account activation email from OpenAthens.

Please note database access is based on a combination of your bureau and your official duty station. You will automatically receive access to all resources you are eligible for and can view this list by visiting MyAthens.

Access Issues?

If you are experiencing access issues, you may need to reset your password.

When in doubt, send us an email at We check this email regularly and will get to your question within a business day, if not sooner.

Privacy & Security

OpenAthens' detailed Privacy Policy.

OpenAthens has mechanisms in place to quickly identify potential security breaches or cyberattacks. View the OpenAthens Security Guide to learn more.