Athens is essentially a tool for institutions to manage access to electronic resources.
Athens is fundamentally, a repository of organisations, usernames and passwords that protects online content, with secure single username access to a variety of electronic resources.
Athens has extensive account management facilities for organisations to create and manage usernames and passwords. Each organisation that registers with Athens has an Athens site administrator, whose responsibility it is to manage these accounts. Athens administrators are usually those with responsibility for managing access to resources in a college and normally this is the learning resources manager/librarian. One of the advantages of using Athens is that it allows remote users or distance learners to have access to e-resources as on-site users.
There are basically two types of Athens user accounts, Access and Personal.
Access accounts are shared accounts and one access account is all that is required to allow all users (on campus), to access any electronic resources that an institution subscribes to.
If remote access is required for users, personal accounts need to be created, which allow users access to e-resources regardless of location
Around 260 online services have adopted Athens protection and over 2 million user accounts from over 800 organisations are managed via the system.
Some of the subscription e-resources available via Athens include:
Childlink is an innovative online database focusing on legislation, policies, and practices regarding children, young people and families who live in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Education Image Gallery
Thousands of images from the world-famous Getty archive covering diverse subject areas such as sport, fashion, major events, buildings, politics, social history, key personalities, transport, industry, work, leisure and music
A financial database of major public and private British companies
InfoTrac, online reference, newspaper and periodical databases from the Gale Group
Oxford Reference Online
The ultimate online reference library with over 120 language and subject reference works into a single cross-searchable resource.
SCRAN is a searchable resource base of material culture and human history drawn largely from the Museums, Libraries, Galleries and Archives of Scotland. SCRAN gives access to a collection of around 300,000 images, video and sound clips, virtual reality objects and teaching resource packs.
Some of the free resources available are:
Education Media OnLine
Education Media OnLine is a JISC-funded set of ten collections of film and video, hosted by EDINA. Work is ongoing, and should eventually result in about 300 hours of material becoming available. The films are of high quality, and are fully downloadable, either in full or as segments, and can be used freely in learning, teaching and research.
Television and Radio Index for Learning and Teaching – listings and archive of broadcast programme information
For further information about Athens contact your JISC Regional Support Centre or visit the Athens site at: www.athens.ac.uk