Remote access to Library online resources

Register for an OpenAthens account today and have access to journals, databases, and ebooks outside of the RCH network.


OpenAthens manages authentication to all available Library resources.
VPN is not required.

How it works

Library-subscribed resources, such as journals, databases, and ebooks are provided via customised links on the Library website. When you use these links outside the RCH network you will be prompted to log in to OpenAthens before being redirected to your chosen resource.

Resources that are supplied by the Victorian Government-funded Clinicians Health Channel (CHC) are fully integrated into the Library website. Your OpenAthens account also provides access to these resources via the Library’s links. If you choose to access these resources directly from CHC instead, you must register for a CHC-managed remote access account at the CHC website.

Some things you need to know …

  • You may register on-site or off-site using a campus email address. You must register on-site when not using a campus email address.
  • You must activate your account within 30 days of registering by clicking the activation link sent to the email address you registered with.
  • You can only access journals that the Library subscribes to, not to every journal that offers an OpenAthens sign-in point. Always check the journals database to see what we have access to.
  • Your account is valid for one year, and can be renewed if you remain affiliated with the institution you registered under. Watch for the email prompting you to renew and follow the instructions to ensure uninterrupted access.
  • When you don't find the article you want from our journals database, you can order it using our Document Delivery service.
  • Important note about VPN: The type of VPN provided by IT allows remote access to the RCH Intranet only. It is not a tool for accessing Library resources remotely; you must still register for OpenAthens.


Here are a few of the most common problems encountered with OpenAthens:

  • Forgotten password. Reset it here.
  • Forgotten username. Use your email address instead.
  • Error message: "This account has been deactivated". Usually this means that the account was not activated within 30 days of registering. Contact us and we'll send you a new activation email.
  • Error message: “Your account has expired”. Contact us for renewal. OpenAthens always email you a month before expiry with a prompt to renew, so watch out for that. You must have continued affiliation with RCH to be eligible for renewal.
  • Login was successful, but you get repeated “your session has expired” messages. Clear all cookies and the cache in your browser and start again.
  • You attempt to renew an expired account from off site but it fails. You can renew off-site only if your work email address was used when registering. If you used a personal email address, either renew when on site at RCH or contact us to renew for you.
  • Login was successful but you can’t access the content you were expecting to. Check our journals databse. Do we have the journal? Do we have the year/volume/issue that you want? OpenAthens allows access only to resources that the Library subscribes to, not to everything that has a “Log in with OpenAthens” gateway. If we don’t have access to what you need, you can make a Document Delivery request and we’ll source your article from another library.

Contact us for help if the problem you encounter is not listed here.