Towards better integrated library systems – OpenAthens and EBSCO Discovery Service

16 December 2022 • Lauren Harding, senior marketing officer

We designed OpenAthens to integrate seamlessly with existing library systems and directories to help students and researchers get the most out of what their library has to offer. For example, our integration with EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) makes it quicker and easier for users to search the library’s e-resources, catalog and the institution’s repository all in one place.

Without the integration the library user would have to log in to their library via OpenAthens, locate the EDS search box and log in to EDS before they could access the results for their keyword or title search. The integration removes this need to log in separately to EDS. By removing this friction you make their research journey easier and more efficient.

Library users can do better work

Integrating OpenAthens with EDS creates an access portal that can discover all library resources. And it provides an authentication system that offers seamless access across virtually all content providers, making in-depth research easy. Enhanced functionality and features within EDS like concept maps, publication placards and related subject suggestions mean users can take their work in fresh directions.

Integrating easy authentication with an intuitive discovery platform creates fulfilling work, better study outcomes and, potentially, enhanced research findings.

Integration frees librarians to get more done

As we’ve seen, when library systems are integrated users need just one set of credentials to access their resources. That means they spend less time chasing down forgotten passwords and need less help getting to grips with different systems. With OpenAthens operating almost invisibly in the background to smooth and facilitate the research path, library usage increases and library staff have time to add more value.

You can, for example, customize your integration, build a consistent user journey and provide a coherent way of linking to resources using the Redirector to set up WAYFless links. This is yet another way to improve the user experience.

And you can track and report usage more accurately. This information helps you demonstrate the library’s value. It can also inform your decisions about subscription renewals and which resources to promote.


It’s essential, of course, that your library can easily configure your EDS instance to work with the OpenAthens Redirector. So we have put together documentation to guide you through it and our service desk team are available to help.