Q. Multiple administrator FAQ


As part of our ongoing changes to improve remote working for OpenAthens administrators, we have collated a multiple administrator FAQ to help you make the most of the functionality. You should also be able to use this FAQ to answer any questions about the minor changes to the navigation of the administrator portal.

Don’t forget, if you have any questions, we are here to help – just get in touch using your usual support channel.

What does this change mean for customers?

Before the change, organizations had a single administrator account that they could use to access the OpenAthens admin portal. From March onwards, organizations will be able to have multiple administrator accounts which means you can assign administrator roles to your colleague’s accounts if they need access to the OpenAthens Admin portal.

Accounts will be able to have two roles: administrator and owner.

What can the different roles do? 

The administrator role will be able to administer users and everything connected to them such as accounts and permission sets. The owner role will additionally be able to control domain-wide functions such as attribute release and schemas.

There is no limit on how many accounts can have either role.

Will the OpenAthens Admin portal look different? 

We started introducing minor tweaks to the OpenAthens interface in February and will continue doing so through March. The changes to the interface are there to accommodate the new features and to improve the overall product experience.

Multiple administrator portal
*screengrabs are from product prototypes and may look slightly different from the actual product

We will update our documentation and will create how-to videos to help you make the most of the new multi administrator functionality. Watch our OpenAthens 101 webinar on multiple OpenAthens administrators.

Do I need to do anything ahead of the release?

You do not have to make any preparations and there will be no disruption to OpenAthens and your configuration.  You may want to consider who in your organization may benefit from having an account to access the OpenAthens Admin portal.

Where you have existing organization accounts, they will automatically be assigned the equivalent role.

How do I assign admin and owner roles?

You can search for and assign accounts with either owner or admin roles.   You can access this by selecting “Organization” on the “Preferences” tab.

How do I assign admin and owner roles?
*screengrabs are from product prototypes and may look slightly different from the actual product

Any OpenAthens account belonging to the organization or sub-organization you are editing can be assigned an administrator role. The owner role can only be assigned to accounts under the main domain account.

It is not possible to assign an administrator role to an account from your local directory.

How can I be sure I am assigning an administrator role to the right personal account?  

When searching for the personal account you will be able to see the email address, username, first and last names of the account holder.

Can I still access resources with a personal account which has been assigned administrator permissions?

Yes, you can still access resources using a personal account with administrator permissions.

Can administrators modify/delete owners?

Accounts with the owner role can only be modified by other ‘owners’.

Can administrators modify the details of other administrators?

Accounts with the administrator role can modify account details for administrators in organizations and sub-organizations they are in and those below them in the same way as they do now.

Do I need a personal account with an administrator role for each of my sub-organizations? 

Not for your own sub-organizations. Administrators and owners get administrator privileges for all sub-organizations below them by default.

To manage sub-organizations, you will be switching between the organizations in your structure in a similar way to how impersonation worked, but you remain ‘you’ which will lead to improved auditing.

Will I see an audit trail of the changes other administrators have made? 

Initially, you will be able to view which roles have been added or removed from other accounts. When the transition is finished all activities in the activity stream will be reported against an individual administrator account.

You can find the full activity stream for the organization under auditing in the statistics menu.

Can I create new sub-organizations under my organization?

Yes, owners and administrators can add organization under their organization from the Organisation summary.

Can I modify roles? 

You can’t modify the roles, but you can change which is assigned to an account if you have the owner role.

Can I remove admin privileges? 

Yes, but only for accounts you control. The owner role can only be removed by another account with the owner role.

If I only want to provide someone with administrator rights to a sub-organization, how/can I do this?

First, move their account directly under that sub-organization, then assign their account the administrator role from that sub-organization’s details page.

People working together

Watch our step by step guide

Our OpenAthens multiple-administrator functionality step by step guide demonstrates how to perform a range of tasks within the OpenAthens platform. We intend to roll out this functionality to all customers by early March 2021.

Watch the video

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