Gathering around a computer

When WAM went bam: OpenAthens and Alma implementation

30 March 2020 • Lauren Harding, senior marketing officer

In 2019, Leeds University Library migrated its library management system from Sierra to Alma. In hand with this came a change of e-resources authentication from Web Access Management (WAM, supplied by Innovative with Sierra) to OpenAthens.

The story so far

This is a story of two halves: first focusing on the complications of migrating both library management systems and authentication systems simultaneously and how the differences in authentication management between Sierra and Alma were discovered and solutions introduced. The second focuses on the set-up of OpenAthens with each individual publisher, giving an overview of the substantial correspondence between us, the publishers and OpenAthens and homing in on some detailed examples of the types of issues that came up and how these were resolved.

Watch their case study

Presented by Karen Abel, Subscriptions and E-Resources Coordinator, University of Leeds, the case study perspective is that of someone new to OpenAthens embarking on a lead role in the establishment of OpenAthens authentication for the Library’s e-books. Through this project, Karen now has familiarity with the steps that need to be taken and the issues that may arise. This case study may be useful for those in a similar position who are looking to gain an understanding of the practicalities of establishing OpenAthens with e-resource providers and/or who are moving library management systems whilst also adopting OpenAthens.

Discussion on drivers of industry change