We are aware that the WikiSpace will be closing in the near future. A replacement is underway and we will contact administrators who use this page directly as well as send out announcements to relevant parties through mailing lists.

FAQs and tips

Adding FAQs - please email them to Cathryn Peppard to upload for you (c.e.a.peppard@gre.ac.uk).

1. Q: Can I register my students for access to the NHS National Core Content?
A: The eligibility criterion is that the students must be healthcare students on an NHS (England)-commissioned education programme which involves practice and placement within NHS provider services. They may have access for the duration of their programme.

2. Q: Can you give examples of eligible NHS (England)-commissioned education programmes?
Allied health professions
- paramedics
- dietetics
- occupational therapy
- operating department practice
- orthoptics
- orthotics & prosthetics
- physiotherapy
- podiatry/chiropody
- radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic)
- speech and language therapy
Dental hygiene and therapy
Healthcare scientists (Masters level only)

3. Q: What about pharmacy, healthcare science undergraduate and optician courses?
A: Pharmacists: Because this is a HEFCE funded course, the NHS (England)-commissioned course definition excludes them for the four years of their University course. However, during this time they spend hardly any time at all on placement. For their fifth, pre-registration, year they are employed within a healthcare setting, salary supported by the NHS, and would be eligible.

Healthcare scientists: Undergraduate courses are HEFCE funded and therefore not commissioned by the NHS. The undergraduate experience does include placements within Trusts – so students may have access whilst on placement only. The masters level courses are commissioned by the NHS and students spend all their time on placement within NHS Trusts, so would be eligible.

Opticians: This is a HEFCE funded course & therefore students are not eligible.

4. Q: Students are registered for the length of their course... but what about admin accounts?
A: Administrators are registered for 2 years and registration can be renewed as required.

5. Q: Can librarians have access to the NHS National Core Content?
A: Yes, under eligibility criterion F of the Core Content eligibility..."Individuals engaged to provide education, training or research for the NHS in England". The link to the eligibility criteria can be found at:

6. Q: What about access by academic staff?
A: Yes, as long as they conform to eligibility criterion G.

7. Q: My institution uses Shibboleth/UK Federation, can I use this instead of Athens?
A: Currently, Athens is the only means of accessing the National Core Content open to HEIs. Shibboleth access management is not used by the NHS.

8. Q: What format must the student email be? Can they use gmail, yahoo, hotmail etc?
A: Ideally, student emails must be their current institutional '.ac.uk' address to provide verification if self-registering for Athens. Some universities are moving away from '.ac.uk' email addresses. If the registration is done as a bulk upload process by an Athens administrator in HE, then there is some flexibility regarding the email name because the HE Athens administrator is providing verification through the bulk upload process.

9. Q: How do I save my data as tab delimited?
A: When you choose 'Save as' choose to save your file as 'Tab delimited (text)' from the drop down menu at the bottom of the dialog box.

10. Q: Can I upload user details at the start of term and then defer the actual account activation until later in the year when we give a related tutorial session?
A: Yes, you can specify the desired activation date on the upload template.

11. Q: Are there any technical (i.e. PC) requirements that I should know about?
A: Yes, your PC must have a fixed IP address rather than a dynamic IP address. Part of the administration process depends on Eduserv 'recognising' your specific PC. Ask your IT department to help with this.

12. Q: Do I need to pay to use Athens?
A: No, you don't need to pay. Athens has been procured for use by eligible institutions by NHS Evidence.

13. Q: Will students be eligible to register for NHS Athens while on placement in trusts, as well as registering in their HEI at the start of their course?
A: It is possible for students to self-register for NHS Athens when on placement but the students will need to use a different email address to that used for their HE Athens. Central (bulk) registration in HE gives access to the standard core of NHS-purchased materials. If Trusts have access to additional content through local purchasing arrangements, this can only be accessed by registering during the placement, for NHS Athens. Some HEIs expect their students to access and use this additional local content whereas others are happy for students to work with core materials. This is a local decision.

14. Q: In our area, there are national, regional and local e-resources, and with “just” national access they’d miss a lot of stuff which would be really useful to them while with us.
A: There might be a potential for complexity, if the central mission of facilitating access to students, is extended beyond the national core content. However, this is a local shared decision between NHS Athens Administrators and HE librarians, as they are the ones who will have to do the administration work. Owing to the amount of administrative work that would be required, one might suggest that multiple Athens UserIDs would not normally be required unless there was an imperative academic or clinical reason why this had to be so. Local variations require a debate with all local stakeholders (such as undergraduate clinical tutors in Trusts and the relevant academic staff in the HEI) as to whether or not any changes would represent a useful additional resource to the student.

15. Q: Are HE-NHS ATHENS accounts locked at national level? Is there the facility to change the organisation linked to behind the scenes for the duration of a placement? NHS staff are able to change their host organisation; will students be able to do that?
A: Universities don’t appear on the “Change organisation” page because they are not discrete Athens organisations in their own right – they are just sub-admin accounts. Students can change FROM their university TO their first placement, but can’t change back to their university again (though they can change to their next placement). If NHS Athens administrators are prepared to administer students who are longer on placement at their trust (before they move to their next one), then the 'change org' functionality could be promoted/publicised. If this is not the case then this function should not be publicised
It is theoretically possible to change organisations behind the scenes, but it is not particularly practical as it would have to be done by the national NHS Athens administrator who would require data on names of all students on placement, the university at which they are a student and the date their placement finishes. For this reason, this approach is not recommended.

16. Q: Are you uploading information from a central University student information system to NHS ATHENS, and if so, which field/types of information are required?
A: All that is required, is first name, last name, university email address and course expiry date. See the Athens Administration tab in the wiki for more information. How to get this information varies between institutions. In some cases a list can be obtained from a school or faculty office - it does not have to come directly out of a student record system. There is a spreadsheet template for uploading to Eduserv but we leave it up to you as to how you populate this.

17. Q: What is available as part of the National Core Content?
A: A list is available at: http://www.libraryservices.nhs.uk/forlibrarystaff/information/eresources.html

18. Q: When does the new arrangement begin? We have students coming into our Trust and our stakeholder Trusts all through the year and it would be good to know when the new arrangement begins so that we can direct them to the appropriate HE administrator.
A: Although the eligibility criteria changed in April 2011, the arrangement starts as soon as we have administrators in place in the relevant HEIs to register the eligible users. HE Athens administrators are being recruited and have to be trained first. The current list is at http://nhs-hei-athens.wikispaces.com/Participating+institutions When administrators are in place, they should contact their local NHS Athens administrators, if they haven’t done so already. This will help us to develop a support network between colleagues in NHS and HE. If the local contact details are unknown, there are NHS Athens administrators for each region in England who can assist in identifying local contacts:

19. Q: How do I find out if my local university has set up NHS Athens accounts for their students?
A:You can see a list of currently participating HEI institutions and the name of their HEI NHS Athens administrators on the HE/NHS Athens wiki here:

20. Q: Do students automatically get NHS Athens accounts when they first start their courses?
A:Only if their institution is participating in the scheme – not all HEIs are as this is a phased implementation. You can see a list of currently participating HEI institutions on the HE/NHS Athens wiki here: http://nhs-hei-athens.wikispaces.com/Participating+institutions

21. Q:Can I assume that all students on placement in our Trust already have NHS Athens accounts set up for them by their University?”

A: No, only if their institution is participating in the scheme – not all HEIs are. If they ARE currently participating, only students in their 1st and 2nd years will be given NHS Athens accounts, so current 3rd, 4th and 5th years will not have Athens accounts. If students haven’t already got an account via their HEI, they may wish to register through their placement trust or self-register via N3. The purpose of the scheme is to enable 1st and 2nd year students so that their accounts will last for the duration of their course. 3rd, 4th and 5th year stdeunts who currently don't have Athens accounts can register with their Trusts for access.You can see a list of participating HEI institutions on the HE/NHS Athens wiki here: http://nhs-hei-athens.wikispaces.com/

22. Q: Will university librarians provide training in the use of NHS Athens resources?
A: HE librarians will be either providing training or directing students to NHS training resources. This training is intended to be in addition to any training which may currently be provided by NHS library staff and does not replace it. Very few HE libraries are delivering formal training courses, preferring instead to point students to the existing web training materials such as the HDAS Training Guide

23. Q: Do the NHS Athens accounts set up by university librarians for their students provide access to national, regional and local resources?
A: Accounts set up by HEIs give access to national resources only. Students requiring access to regional and local resources will need to set up a second account when they are on placement.

24. Q: How long do students’ NHS Athens accounts last?
A: Student accounts set up by HEIs will expire when the student leaves the course.

25. Q: If students require access to local resources, may they still self-register whilst on placement?
A: Yes, if students have access to computers on the NHS network (N3), they can self register with an email address which is not already in use in Athens. They can also register with an NHS email address, if they have one.

However, If they do not have access to N3 and do not have an NHS email address, they cannot self-register because the registration form does not accept email addresses which are already in use, and personal email addresses are not valid on the registration form. If this applies, additional accounts can be created by the local NHS Athens administrator, either manually on request, or by bulk upload.

26. Q: How can I add resources if they do not appear to be allocated to students?
A: Log in as the administrator.
- Hover over 'User permissions' > 'Via permission sets' and select 'List'.
- Click the 'NHS National Content' permission set and then select 'Allocate permission set'.
- Select the option 'Allocate by user group' and click 'Allocate' against each group.

27. Q: Is there any way of registering students individually? Owing to local circumstamces we do not wish to bulk upload student details all in one go.
A: Yes. Administrators may register students individually "as and when", if this is a more appropriate solution for the HEI concerned. We suggest bulk upload of student details as a way of saving work but we recognise that there will be situations where bulk upload is not the preferred option for managing access.

28. Q: A user has sucessfully logged in, but cannot access e-resources. There are error messages when they try to view search results. What should I do?
A: Please contact NHS Evidence to report the problem, using the reporting address contactus@evidence.nhs.uk

29. Q: What is the HEI responsibility for users who have been given an NHS Athens account who then leave the institution for some reason?
A: It is the responsibility of the HEI to remove these users. This does not have to be done immediately, but can be done in batches on a monthly basis.