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Working Online

This LibGuide answers many frequently asked questions about how to have the best experience when accessing and working with online materials.

What is OpenAthens?

OpenAthens is a software service that you use to identify yourself as a member of the Piedmont University community when you want to work with online services off-campus. You can login to OpenAthens with the Piedmont University Single Sign-on username and password that you already know. Your username and password are the same combination you use to logon to Canvas or Webadvisor.

For further assistance, use our Ask a Librarian! services and feel free to contact us directly by phone whenever the library is open. If we determine that the problem has to do with your password, we will have to refer you to the IT Services Helpdesk. They manage the passwords for everyone at Piedmont University.

graphic showing openathens login dialog

When you're off-campus and you arrive at a site or a page that requires licensed access, like this article on JSTOR, OpenAthens will ask you to login, and you will then be redirected to the OpenAthens version of the site's url. You'll have access to the article and be able to search within all available databases.

OpenAthens will work with any licensed service to which the Library provides you access, but the Library doesn't license access to every article or other service that you might encounter on the web. If you need an article to which you don't have direct access, the Library can almost always obtain it for you through Interlibrary Loan


Licensing agreements for subscription services require that access be extended only to authorized users. Authorized users include only currently registered students and full- and part-time faculty and staff of Piedmont University.

By accessing these licensed online research services, you affirm that you are currently affiliated with Piedmont University as a registered student or as a member of the faculty or staff. You further affirm that you will abide by all the provisions of the copyright laws of the United States as codified in Title 17, United States Code.