Related question (hearkens back to my MD with the 2 click issues from yesterday). Is there an app for Athens for mobile devices and tablets? We've narrowed down his issue to his iPad... 

We've had Athens for years. I have mixed feelings about it. Mostly, I find it confusing, but that might be because it has yet to work seamlessly and smoothly for more than a week or two at a time. Don't panic. The "fault" is most likely not inherent in the service provided, but with our changing IPs, merging health systems, changing main vendors (and therefore providers of Athens) and network issues on our end and EBSCOs. Still, it is  a valuable service. One thing that is VITAL for your patrons to understand (and this is the biggest complaint I get about it) is that it is only a gateway to your resources. It's not the key to the internet. Thing is, many many universities etc use Athens so when my residents see the Athens button on a journal site, they ASSUME they have access. They most likely do not... I tell them in the general orientation; I tell them in their individual 2 hour session I get with them, but they still expect to get access. They email me that Athens is not working, not with the cite for the needed article. Very aggravating for us both.

Also, I have found customer service for Athens to not be all that great. Sending me lengthy emails that essentially show me algorithms on how to set stuff up is not helpful. I learn better when walked through stuff. YMMV. I try to never call them, frankly--I usually ask around or spend time on whatever the issue is and figure it out myself. To be fair, it is often me not seeing what's in front of my face or forgetting the steps needed to do X. 

Eleanor Truex BSN, RN, MLIS
Medical Librarian, Lakeshore Region 


Saint Joseph Hospital
2900 North Lake Shore Drive | Chicago, IL 60657
Office: 773.665.3038 
Internal: 81.665.3038 

h Saint Francis Hospital
355 North Ridge Avenue | Evanston , IL 60202
Office: 847.316.2460
Internal: 81.847.2460 
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-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of King, Fred
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2017 2:15 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Open Athens for medical libraries

Not medical-library specific--just something I've learned from using OpenAthens over the years:

When you set it up, you get a menu with whatever options you've decided to include. When you click on a link, it's a lot easier if you open each resource in a new tab. Then switch between the tabs.

But why, I hear you ask? (Unless everyone else has figured this out years ago and I'm wasting bandwidth by posting something really, really obvious.)

Let's say you want to search PubMed. You left-click* on PubMed and do your search. Then you realize that you want to look at the full text, or look up something in CINAHL, or something that doesn't involve PubMed. So you click the back button until you get to the Athens menu and venture out into another resource, but now you've lost your search. So you click back to the Athens menu and go back to PubMed and do your search again, but this time you want to look at something in the NEJM, but for the purposes of this example the LinkOut button isn't there and you have to click the back button until...

*Or however you do it on your particular device in a way that doesn't open in a new window.

Fred King
Medical Librarian, MedStar Washington Hospital Center [log in to unmask]
ORCID 0000-0001-5266-0279

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