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Meet the new MyAthens library portal: enhancing user experience for patrons and administrators

06 May 2021 • Cintia Trigonopoulos, product marketer

Being part of OpenAthens for the last 15 years, MyAthens has provided librarians a library-owned portal that is simple to use and that avoids the need of managing resources in multiple locations. It is an information portal that provides a starting point for patrons’ research alongside user authentication all in one place. Librarians love the quick, painless set-up and maintenance of the platform and end-users value being able to see all of the resources they have access to in one place.

Why are we re-developing?

We know from talking to our customers that MyAthens is a valuable part of what we offer. We also know it comes with a number of frustrations, from the out-of-date design and clunky admin management, to the lack of mobile optimization and difficulty finding the right resources. With this in mind, we knew there was a big opportunity to address the frustrations with the product, whilst maintaining the features users know and love. To achieve this, we needed to re-build MyAthens from the ground up to deliver the experience that librarians and end-users expect.

What is changing?

The core of this new update is a complete re-design of every aspect of the user experience for patrons and administrators. The move to a single combined ‘Research Zone’ page allows admins to configure resources and content quickly and easily for users into an accessible and mobile-optimized format. In addition, an enhanced content editor will allow the embedding of videos to create more interactive and engaging content for users.

Why are we charging for the MyAthens library portal?

We want to be clear that MyAthens will be moving to a tiered model. There will be 2 tiers – MyAthens Basic, which will be freely available to all customers; and MyAthens Plus, which will be charged for in addition to your OpenAthens subscription. MyAthens Plus will consist of all the existing resource functionality – including the resource list for end-users – and also brand-new features, such as the ability for admins to integrate paid-for discovery services and curate lists of key resources to highlight to users. More information on the differences between MyAthens Basic and Plus can be seen in the graphic below.

MyAthens Plus and Basic comaparison table

We have taken this step towards a tiered pricing model for MyAthens as it will help to ensure the long-term development and growth of the product for years to come. Without generating additional revenue to invest back into the product, we would be unable to grow it into the future.

What happens next/what do admins need to do?

We want to be clear that there won’t be any significant amount of work as part of the migration, or that you will need to action anything in a short period of time. We have planned for the migration to be as flexible as possible in order to enable you to do things at your own pace. At this stage, the main thing you should do is watch our MyAthens webinar. We go over the changes in more detail and give you more information on how we plan to migrate to the new and improved MyAthens.

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Our story

OpenAthens has been providing remote access and authentication solutions for over 25 years. Used worldwide by over 2,600 academic, healthcare, corporate research libraries, publishers, and service providers to provide access to knowledge. We’re based in the UK and are a part of Jisc.

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