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What is ATHENS?

ATHENS is an access control management system which allows you to access a wide variety of electronic resources purchased for you by your institution. Your username identifies you as a registered member of your institution to the resource you are trying to access.

The ATHENS system is used by higher education, the NHS and other institutions across the world. Thus, many resources provide an ATHENS logon from their homepage. However, if your institution has not subscribed to the resource, you will not be able to access it, even if it provides an ATHENS logon. The databases, e-journals and e-books pages give details of the resources available via UCL or the NHS.

Access to electronic resources for UCL staff and students

Access to ATHENS protected resources for UCL staff and students is via ATHENS LA. Users should use their IS computer account details to login to these resources. Further details are available on the Library Services website.

The IS computer account is NOT the same as your MEDSCH/RFC logon. Every UCL student and member of staff (including those with honorary UCL contracts) automatically receive a computer account from central IS and it is the details of this account that you need. Many staff on the Royal Free Campus may not use this username and password and many be unaware that they have one. Therefore a variety of methods have been set up for you to find out what they are.

  • You can go to the CCS Help Desk, lower ground floor, where the staff can telephone IS and ask for your account to be reset. They will then be able to give you your username and password once this has been confirmed. This must be done in person and you will need to take some form of photographic ID with you, such as your UCL photocard or your hospital ID.
  • You can go to the IS helpdesk, situated in the basement of the Lewis's Building, on the corner of Gower Street and Gower Place (see for more information and a map). You will need to take your UCL photocard with you.

ATHENS for NHS staff

On joining the library, staff of the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust will be sent their NHS ATHENS username and password via interoffice mail. Alternatively, if you log in to an NHSNet PC, or enter an NHS email address in your registration details, you may self-register. To do this:

  • Go to
  • Enter your registration details:
    - You will need to enter the Trust for which you work. If browsing for your Trust, please note that the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust is part of the North Central area of the London SHA.
    - Remember to enter an NHS email address if you are not on an NHSNet computer.
  • Click on Submit

Please ask at the library Issue Desk if you have any queries.

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This page last modified 12 October, 2009 by Medical Library, Royal Free Hospital

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