Authentication & Access

Providing users with access to ScienceDirect for librarians & information professionals

Access to ScienceDirect relies upon Internet Protocol (IP) address authentication. The setup process is straightforward: You provide your organization's Internet Protocol (IP) address range(s) to Elsevier, and then we configure and activate your account.

If you wish to grant your users, or a group of users, access to ScienceDirect from outside your physical location, then you have several remote access options to choose from, some of which we can help you enable:

  • Extended access session (a.k.a., anonymous remote access)
  • Federated authentication through SAML (i.e., Shibboleth, OpenAthens, Enterprise SSO)
  • Virtual private network (VPN)
  • Secure proxy server
  • Self-managed remote access
  • Secure login link on your website (e.g., library portal) via a Ticketed URL link
  • Registration IDs provided by Elsevier
  • Registration IDs issued by librarian via Elsevier's Admin Tool

Remote access allows your users to securely access all of your subscribed ScienceDirect content whenever they are working from home, while traveling or from any other Internet location. We've summarized the different remote access methods in the table below to help you decide the best option(s) that you can offer your patrons.

Let you users know about access to ScienceDirect

Use the Promoting ScienceDirect Toolkit  to inform your patrons about access provided through your library.

Remote Access Options

Elsevier supports a range of options for your users to have secure remote access to your organization's subscribed ScienceDirect content. We recommend that you appoint one or more administrators who can manage some of these methods using the Elsevier Admin Tool.

Remote access method Best choice for... Requires setup by librarian? Contact Elsevier Customer Service? Basic overview How does the user access the product?
Extended access session (anonymous remote access) Academic institutions. No No* The user experiences continued access for up to 48 hours after leaving theinstitution's IP address range(s) as long as:
  • The user works from the same device and browser
  • Cookies  are enabled
*Contact Elsevier Customer Service  if you want this feature turned off for your institution.
Automatic.
Federated authentication through SAML:
  • Shibboleth
  • OpenAthens
  • Enterprise SSO
Member institutions of access management federations; organizations with a SAML-enabled identity infrastructure; organizations using OpenAthens by Eduserv. Yes Yes Secure remote access for users is inherent in these open source solutions, and you have the flexibility to define and limit access if desired. Provides a high level of protection of identity and personal details of your users.
  • Shibboleth (federated identity solution) membership information is available at shibboleth.net 
  • OpenAthens (a large Shibboleth community) information is available at openathens.net
  • A listing of access management federations around the world is available at refeds.org
  • Find a listing of federations that Elsevier participates in on ScienceDirect (click the arrow next to the box labeled "Select your group or region")
On ScienceDirect or directly through your library portal.
Virtual private network (VPN) Providing all authorized users secure remote access through your organization's VPN. Yes No Support for a VPN is provided by your organization's IT department (or equivalent). Logs into your intranet via the VPN and then opens ScienceDirect.
Secure proxy server Organizations wishing to use a specialist intermediary (such as EZProxy) to authenticate users and provide secure remote access to authorized users. Yes No Only your IT department (or equivalent) can provide operational support for your secure proxy server. Important to note: We advise against web proxies as these are shared IP addresses that are not unique to your organization; therefore web proxies are not secure and cannot be used to authenticate access to Elsevier products. Through your library portal and as directed by you.
Self-managed remote access Academic institutions that do not have another secure remote access method in place; or do not have the ability or desire to generate and support Registration IDs; or want to offer authorized users a method of enabling secure remote access on their own. No Yes The most "barrier-free" method we support. Currently available only for Academic customers. This option relies on institutional email domain(s) that you supply to us. You must make reasonable efforts to ensure and enforce that authorized users do not share passwords or credentials with anyone (see sample subscription agreement section 3.2). On ScienceDirect via a "Remote access" link; user may be required to select a "self-managed remote access" department; setup is done just once.
Registration IDs via Elsevier: User name/password activated with a registration key Providing secure remote access to a defined group of authorized users with setup support from Elsevier Customer Service. No Yes Each authorized individual user receives a registration ID and password sent via email from Elsevier Customer Service. Registration IDs may have an end date for user access, which you specify. You must make reasonable efforts to ensure and enforce that authorized users do not share passwords or credentials with anyone (see sample subscription agreement section 3.2). On ScienceDirect via the "Sign in" link.
Registration IDs via Admin Tool: User name/password issued by librarian through Admin Tool Providing secure remote access to a defined group of authorized users on your own. Yes No You or an assigned administrator can configure and manage secure remote access for either individuals or groups (departments) using Elsevier's Admin Tool. Each authorized user receives a registration ID and password sent via email. Registration IDs may have an end date for user access, which you specify. You must make reasonable efforts to ensure and enforce that authorized users do not share passwords or credentials with anyone (see sample subscription agreement section 3.2). On ScienceDirect via the "Sign in" link.
Secure login link on your website (e.g., library portal) via a Ticketed URL link Organizations wanting to provide all authorized users secure remote access free from dependencies on external organizations or IP address authentication. Yes Yes Elsevier generates an identifier (Ticketed URL Origin ID) that you code into your intranet or library website. Requires coding proficiency, i.e., it cannot be done as a simple cut-and-paste task. Through your library portal or other secure website from any internet location.

Remote access message to users

You can display a pop-up message to your users about remote access to ScienceDirect. Use the Elsevier Admin Tool  to enter the text you wish to display and then contact Elsevier Customer Service  to activate the message. Here's a sample:

You are outside the University of N's network. Please contact <name@libraryemail> for remote access instructions.

Walk-in access
The ScienceDirect agreement includes the ability for libraries to offer walk-in access to patrons for the purposes of personal research, education or non-corporate use. Walk-in access is at the discretion of your library.

Contact

For more information about any of the access methods to ScienceDirect described above or for help with access issues, please contact Elsevier Customer Service.