If you are a UK based education organisation you may want to join the UK education specific 'UK Access Management federation for Education and Research' (sometimes called the UK fed).

The first thing to do is check if you have UK fed enabled in OpenAthens and have our service desk enable it if not. To check you access the administration area and go to Management > Connections. Look for entry in the federations section. You will need to reference these details later.

If there is no existing registration appearing here our service desk can quickly add the details for you. Your 'scope' will be the same across all federations but your entityID can be different in the UK fed if you need it to match an existing entity - e.g. if you were upgrading from Shibboleth. If you do not specify an entityID, our service desk will duplicate your OpenAthens federation entityID (recommended).

Now you are ready to register with the UK fed.

Their website should be your source of details for the process:

  1. https://ukfederation.org.uk/content/Documents/ApplyforMembership
  2. https://www.ukfederation.org.uk/content/Documents/RegisterOAIdP

The relevant bits of information about us that you will need to tell them from the 'RegisterOtherIdP' pages are below. This may be all you need if you are already a member.

Prerequisites section

Most of this section is not applicable. The part that is important is that you control the entityID and scopes associated with your organisation and what that comes down to is the domain name that is being used for your entityID and scope - e.g. institution.ac.uk in https://idp.institution.ac.uk/openathens is owned by you. This should have been checked by us when you joined, but you should confirm. 

Registration procedure section 

Management contact

This is the person they will want to deal with and accept future requests from. If it's not going to be you, pick someone who will recognise what any email from them is about. 

Everything else

Tell them you're using OpenAthens

Information required for registration section

The entityID

Use the entityID displayed in your administration area as described above. E.g. https://idp.institution.ac.uk/openathens


Use the scope displayed in your administration area as described above. E.g. institution.ac.uk


Say yes, unless you are registering a new entity as part of upgrading from Shibboleth or similar in which case you might want your new registration to initially not be visible. They can change them over later.

User accountability

If you say 'yes', you should ensure that the auto delete function is set longer than three months and that users will be promptly expired when they leave. If you have local policies that conflict with that you can say 'no', but some resources could refuse access.  


Optional. You can say "OpenAthens". You won't need to specify versions or types as there is only one.

Optional. If you want to specify one, first make sure you have uploaded one under Preferences > Domain. You will need to do this if you're going to be using the student voter registration service.

Logo URL

You will need to know your OpenAthens domain (usually the same as your scope) and your organisation number. Both can be seen on the Organisations page. Once you have those you just need to plug them into:


Once you've filled them in, test the link - e.g. https://login.openathens.net/images/peckhamtraders.com/o/68420974/fullsize.png

Organisation display name

Probably the same as you've told us

Organisation URL

Your website's homepage

Contacts - support, technical and administrative - should all be:

"OpenAthens Service Desk - help@openathens.net"

Automatically generated metadata

In most cases, this will be in the form:


... where domain is your OpenAthens domain, usually the same as your scope. See: How to access your login.openathens.net metadata

If you need to have a different entityID in the UK Access Management federation from the one you have in the OpenAthens federation then you will need to add /c/ukfed to the end of the metadata address - examples:

For most users: https://login.openathens.net/saml/2/metadata-idp/peckhamtraders.com

UK fed specific entityID: https://login.openathens.net/saml/2/metadata-idp/peckhamtraders.com/c/ukfed 

If you're not sure, use the longer version.