Myths & Facts about NHS Athens username and password

We get some strange comments about NHS Athens username / password so here is a little myth-busting.

Myth – I don’t need an NHS Athens username / password as everything is free on the Internet.

  • Fact – sadly everything isn’t freely available. Many publishers charge for access to the fulltext of their articles. You can use your NHS Athens username / password to access online journal articles. You can also use your Athens username and password to access ebooks and databases.

Myth – You can access everything you need with an NHS Athens username / password.

  • Fact – unfortunately this isn’t true. You can access resources that we have purchased for you. This includes ebooks, ejournals and articles as well as databases. Like everyone else we have to work within a budget. Also, some publishers are not Athens compliant and we have to give you alternative routes to these resources.

Myth – Athens is a database that you can search.

  • Fact – Athens isn’t a database it is an authentication method, ie it allows you to logon to different resources, including searchable databases, using the same username and password. But you use different resources to find your information.

Myth – You have to be on a course to be eligible for an NHS Athens account.

  • Fact – You don’t have to be on a course to be eligible. If you work for the NHS you can apply. The full list of eligibility criteria is here. You can use resources to support your work, continuous professional development, evidence-based practice and patient care.

Myth – I have to get someone to set me up on Athens and it is really complicated.

  • Fact – Applying for an NHS Athens account is really easy; you just need to complete an online form. If you use your work email account it is really quick and you can be set up within 5 minutes.

Myth – It is too difficult to remember your username.

  • Fact – You’ll be sent an email with your username in it; keep this for reference. As a tip your NHS Athens username always starts with nhs, then it usually includes parts of your name, then a 3 or 4 digit number. But did you know that you can use your email address instead of the username given to you? So you just need to remember your email address and password.

Myth – I need to phone the library if I’ve forgotten my password.

  • Fact – You can reset your password yourself if you have forgotten it. Go to our Athens page and click on the “reset your password” link.

Myth – You have to sign-up again every time you move to the next trust or job.

  • Fact – You can take your NHS Athens username with you when you move jobs within the NHS. You’ll need to transfer your account to your new workplace. This means that you still keep any saved searches or alerts. You’ll also get access to resources available at your new workplace which may include more specialist subjects.

What can I access?
You can find links to all our NHS-based resources on our Healthcare Resources page.

Taking a short amount of time to set up yourself with your NHS Athens username / password, and familiarising yourself with our journals list and databases can save you lots of time in the future.

Where can I get more help?
We have lots of help for you:

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