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This function is undergoing changes in early 2021 and may not match everyone's experience until the transition is finished


Path to function: Preferences > OrganisationAccount

This preference page controls items that can be set differently for accounts per organisation rather than those that are set for your whole domain

Table of Contents

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Default account creation section

So that you don't have to change the same setting every time you create an account, you can change some of the defaults on the accounts preferences page.Image Removed

Many of the options are about account activation and will apply only if you are creating accounts through the interface (custom self registration can use different settings)the account lifecycle:

  • Would you like to specify the accounts' passwords manually or use account activationchange from the recommended account activation process and always specify a password?
  • Will the default login by email address option be yes or no?
  • Should users be able to update their own email address?
  • If you are using account activation, do you want to send the user an email with an activation code?
  • How long are activation codes valid for? (1 - 365 days)
  • When will the account expire? (1 - 60 months after it is created)
  • Should a warning email be sent to the account holder before their account expires or not ? (sent Sent at two and four weeks before expiry)
  • How long after an account expires should it be automatically deleted? (Never, or 0 1 - 365 days)
  • Whether federated resources will get a response if they are not specified in permission sets

All the values are whole numbers and any fractions will be rounded down.

What you need to know about automatic deletion

Some agreements you have with publishers or federations may require you to trace a login back to a user for a period of time after it has happened. This cannot be done if the account has been deleted so you may need to set the automatic deletion period to be long enough to allow for any agreements of this type.The domain administrator may have set a preference to delete non-activated accounts after a number of days. You should bear this in mind when changing the activation code expiry preference.. E.g. members of the UK Access Management federation will usually want to set this to be at least 90 days.

Data protection regulations that apply in the countries where OpenAthens store and process the data mean there can be no option to never delete expired accounts. Your local data protection regulations may require you to set a shorter period that the default.

Setting 0 days means the account will be deleted on the same day it expires - not immediately, but on the same day.

There is a domain setting that controls when unactivated accounts are deleted. This will apply independently of any other setting and may delete accounts earlier than the threshold you set here.

Accounts deleted by this operation are not recoverable.

Account support section

These are the per-organisation details that you can insert into Email templates

Resource access section

Permissive and restrictive mode



Permissive mode (default) means that the system will pass attributes to any federated resource that a user tries to access. In normal operation the resource would then decide whether or not to let the user in based on the attributes that had been passed. This is how federated access management is designed to work.

Restrictive mode means that the system OpenAthens will block access attempts to federated resources that are not specified in permission sets. Its intended use is in situations where a resource is not operating according to standards - e.g. they have decided that it is up to you to not send them any response for users that should not have access.

This setting will also have an impact on statistics. A statistic is logged whenever attributes are passed to a resource and restrictive mode will stop those attributes being passed to unspecified resources. In permissive mode, statistics give you a record of all the things your users want to access; in restrictive mode, statistics give you a record only of the things that they should be able to access. Both have their benefits.

This setting only applies to federated resources - other resources such as proxy (if you use them) will always operate as if in restrictive mode.


Resource access statistics are not displayed when the transfer is blocked this way.

When you add a resource to a permission set it can take up to 10 minutes before restrictive mode allows access.