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Information about and tools for using OpenAthens for authorization.

How to Construct OpenAthens Links

To use the electronic resources American University subscribes to, links to journals, databases, and articles must be formatted to include the university's OpenAthens information. For some resources this means a redirector will be prepended to the link. In other cases, special parameters will be attached to the url path.

After July 11th, links copied from the A - Z database list, the library catalog, or permanent and stable links taken directly from resources will already include this information. If you have saved links created before July 11th they may need to be converted to the OpenAthens format. Particularly, links containing "" will need to be updated. These might look like the following examples:


You can use the tool below to convert these links to the OpenAthens format. There are instructions further down the page for updating links in bulk. Please don't hesitate to reach out to the library for assistance with this process.

Link Not Working?

Try searching for the resource in AU Library Search, then either capture the permalink to the catalog record or the sharing link on the resource page.
If you still can't get a link to work, please contact us and we will do our best to get you a working link.

Have a long list of unproxied links to encode?  You can use this command in a spreadsheet:
If your URL is in A1, input the following formula in B1:
(Note the ENCODEURL function is not available in the online or Mac versions of Excel, but it is available in Google Sheets).

Or visit and enter multiple unproxied links separated by a space or new line.

* EBSCO, ProQuest, and Gale URLs do not need the redirector prefix or to be encoded this way. Instead, AU Library’s account identifiers must be included in their links:

    • &custid=s3742909&authtype=sso
  • ProQuest (except for History Vault, ProQuest Congressional, ProQuest Statistical Insight)
    • &accountid=8285
  • Gale
    • ?u=wash11212