The Library provides access to an extensive collection of electronic resources, including e-journals and e-books, which are widely used for research, learning and teaching in the University. These resources are available under publishers licence for all University staff and students.
From Wednesday 17th July authentication via Unikey or Library barcode will be required for access to these resources from computers on campus, including wireless access, following the same procedure as the existing arrangement for off-campus access. This change has become necessary to ensure the University complies with the publishers’ licence agreements and to avoid putting access to these critical resources at risk.
Exemptions have been made for public access computers in all libraries, which will not prompt for authentication except for those resources that already require it both on and off campus eg. SciFinder Scholar and Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA) ebooks. This exemption for most resources will enable continued access for those Library members and walk-in users who do not have Unikeys.
The change is necessary to ensure we are complying with the licence agreements for our electronic resources. Recent incidents of unauthorised access have put access to some key electronic resources at risk. Compromised computers or servers have been used for unauthorised or unlicensed access to our resources. This puts the Library in breach of licence, and in the past publishers have blocked access to their resources because of such breaches. Adding an authentication step in the process guards against this risk.
The change has been timed for the semester break to minimise the impact on clients. If clients are accessing a number of resources they will only need to authenticate the first time in the browser session so the extra step should not be too onerous. A number of other University resources already require authentication both and on and off campus.