Paul Rudd Information Professional

expertise gained through experience

OpenAthens UK and Ireland User Group 2015

Location: SOAS University of London

The following key Eduserv staff presented information

  • Ian Winship, Sales manager, OpenAthens
  • Neil Scully, Head of Development and Service Delivery, OpenAthens
  • Jon Bentley, Head of Product Marketing, OpenAthens
  • Andrew Anderson, Training Manager/Software QA Analyst, OpenAthens


  • Update on OpenAthens Development
  • OpenAthens RoadMap Update
  • New Local Directory Integration Release
  • Features, Functions & Capabilities
  • New Redirector and Linking
  • User Experience and Lessons Learnt
  • Statistics: Requirement Gathering

The user group meetings provide an opportunity to find out what changes have been made to the products, and the changes and improvements planned for the products going forward by way of a roadmap and developments going forward as displayed below:

Aspects of the 2015 Roadmap:

  • Lightweight Open Athens
  • Simpler, faster set up for publishers in the federation
  • Expansion of redirector services (OpenAthens Federation) moving on to UK Federation resources (an aspect of the meeting was to find a solution to getting a knowledge bank of URL’s for UK Federation resources that could be managed for users by OpenAthens staff)
  • Expansion of Local Directory Integration Feature – extension of available resources and increased connectivity with local data sources

Aspects of the Roadmap 2015/2016

  • Enhanced Statistics, reporting, UI and tools.
  • OpenAthens Maintenance release
  • Proxy Review

Focus of Developments for 2016

  • MyAthens development – A flexible, responsive approach to portal management
  • Easy integration with other applications – extension of VLE integration and other platforms
  • Focus on the end user experience

Alternative Login

One of the key changes centres on the alternative login, which has been improved to offer a better user experience as the interface is now much simpler to use and contains a simple search for an organisation. You can enter the name or a word from the name of the organisation and it will display the matching options to choose from. There is also now an option for it to be customised and it’s also been made responsive, which should provide an improvement for users who log in using their mobile devices.


The user group meetings also provide a perfect opportunity to provide feedback and information to the OpenAthens team on your own personal experiences with their products and on what changes or additional functionality you think could be useful.

Reporting Features

A focus of this user group meeting was to gain feedback on the reporting features of OpenAthens and what improvements could be made to this aspect going forward. A useful additional feature for me would be a ‘Manager Login’ that would enable statistics access only for managers at my organisation (for the MD product), which could also incorporate a simple to view chart that displayed the usage levels. This would enable managers at my organisation to login anytime and get up-to-date information on electronic resource usage.