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Database Access via OpenAthens

Transitioning to OpenAthens

The Library is excited to start 2021 with a new single sign-on service for database access that will provide additional security (both on and off the network), combine all those pesky database passwords into one credential, and automatically provide DOC staff with access to every resource they qualify for based on bureau and location.

What can you do to be prepared?

  • Learn more about OpenAthens by reading this guide.
  • The Library will email all existing database account holders on January 5th to inform them of the migration. If you have multiple active Commerce email addresses, please verify this email was sent to the correct and most current email. If you receive this email, you do not need to self-register and will automatically be migrated to OpenAthens.
  • Westlaw users wishing to retain their existing folders and annotations will be emailed directly or can use the steps below to manually migrate them. Unfortunately, alerts will need to be recreated in your new Westlaw account.
  • Any existing bookmarks will need to be updated either to the friendly URLs currently on the Databases A-Z list (which will automatically redirect on January 11th) or using the links found in your MyAthens portal. 


  • Due to the limited number of D&B Hoovers licenses available, this database will not be incorporated into OpenAthens and users will retain their existing credentials.
  • Access to EIU via OpenAthens is planned; however, the transition will occur after the OpenAthens go-live date. DOC staff will continue to log into a VPN to access EIU via IP authentication until it becomes available through OpenAthens.

Westlaw Account Migration

The Library is migrating to a new single-sign-on access model for all of our databases and library accounts on January 11th 2021. Once you activate your new OpenAthens account, you will have a new Westlaw account with no ties to your current account.

How does this affect you as a Westlaw user?

  • ACTION REQUIRED: you have folders and annotations you would like migrated over to your new OpenAthens login for Westlaw. Alerts cannot be transferred and will need to be recreated under your new credentials. You must complete Part 1 of the instructions below before existing accounts are deactivated on January 25th to ensure your data is migrated to your new, OpenAthens-compatible Westlaw account.
  • NO ACTION NEEDED: you do not have saved folders or annotations that you would like migrated. A new Westlaw account will be automatically created for you once your OpenAthens account is activated.

If you need help with the steps below please reach out to our Westlaw representative Sarah Hornbeck ( Questions can also be directed to the library staff at

START TODAY!  Must be completed prior to January 25th:

Part 1 - Instructions for Registering to Transfer Westlaw Folders & Annotations

Step 1: Sign into your existing Westlaw account at

Step 2: Scroll down to the very bottom of the Home Page and click on the Transfer My Data hyperlink.

Step 3: Select the Register to Transfer hyperlink, and follow the instructions.

Step 4: Westlaw will send you an email with a data transfer key.

Step 5: Please save the email with the data transfer key (disregard the Transfer My Data Now link it includes). You will need this key once your OpenAthens account is activated to complete the process.

Complete after January 11th (once your new OpenAthens credentials are activated):

Part 2 - Instructions to Complete Transfer of Westlaw Folder & Annotations

Step 1: Sign into Westlaw with your OpenAthens credentials using this link: This will automatically create a new Westlaw account for you.

Step 2: Scroll down to the very bottom of the Home Page and click on the Transfer My Data hyperlink.

Step 3: Select the Complete Transfer hyperlink and follow the instructions to complete the transfer.

OpenAthens Key Dates

January 5th, 2021

Existing database account holders will be notified of the upcoming changes. Westlaw users will receive specific instructions to migrate any folders and annotations they wish to preserve.

January 7th, 2021

Lexis account creation will be temporarily frozen until January 11th while existing accounts are transitioned to OpenAthens.

January 8th, 2021

Starting at 1 pm, the Library will begin transitioning database URLs to OpenAthens links. Previous bookmarks will continue to work over the weekend, but please expect potential down time or minor access trouble. 

January 11th 2021

OpenAthens will take over as the single sign-on method for accessing Library resources. Existing database account holders will receive two emails: an account activation email directly from OpenAthens and a reminder email from the Library to check junk and clutter folders accordingly.

Once activated, Westlaw users wishing to migrate folders and annotations may proceed with Part 2 of the instructions.

January 25th 2021

OpenAthens will be the exclusive access method to all Library resources (except the Bloomberg Terminal, D&B Hoovers, and EIU). Previous standalone database credentials and access via IP authentication will be discontinued on this date. Please ensure any bookmarks have been updated accordingly.

Update Your Bookmarks After Launch

  1. Start from the Library's Databases A-Z.
  2. Locate the resource you need to update.
  3. Click on the Share () icon to the right of the database title and copy the friendly URL.
  4. Create a new or update your existing bookmark with the friendly URL (and NOT the URL it redirects to).

If you have specific publications or tools bookmarked that are not listed on our Databases A-Z list (for example, a bookmark directly to Foreign Affairs in Ebsco) you can also use the OpenAthens Link Generator to create customized links that accept your OpenAthens credentials.