Remote access to electronic resources

6 June 2008

Members of Oxford University are able to access electronic resources remotely.The Library Services currently recommend that readers download the VPN (Virtual Private Network) software to enable access to resources when off-campus. Step by step instructions are at:

Many databases have also been available through an Athens username, but this service will terminate at the end of July 2008. Most database suppliers will be offering an institutional log-in using the Oxford Single Sign-On instead (this is the same as your WebAuth or Herald userid and password). A small number of databases will initially not work with SSO access; these will continue to be available through the VPN. You can check the remote access arrangements for each specific database from OxLIP:

For information about the Oxford Single Sign-On see

We are working to develop a new portal service which will make it much simpler to use the Oxford SSO for remote access to electronic resources. Please follow progress on the OULS website at

A few resources (e.g. ZETOC) use Athens for personalised services such as alerts. These will have to be either migrated or cancelled and reinstated. For advice on access to legal databases please contact the law librarians at

If you have any concerns or would like more information please email

External readers

Direct, off-campus access to all electronic resources is not available to those holding library cards (rather than blue-stripe University cards). See for information about entitlement.

External readers are entitled to walk-in, i.e. on-campus, use only by the terms of our subscriptions to most electronic resources. However, a few resources (principally in law and business) are further restricted by log-in to current University members even on campus. Readers who have affiliations to other academic institutions may be able to obtain off-campus access to their home subscription resources remotely by arrangement with their home institution.

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