All change please! Passwords for legal databases changing over the vac!

By | 6 June 2008

Photo of a pc on the beach by Scott Ableman

By Angela Carritt

From 31 July we will no longer be able to use Athens to log on to legal databases.  By October we will have a new system which will make logging on painless. However during the summer we will be in a transition phase.   During this time routes through to some databases (and particularly Lexis, Westlaw and HeinOnline) may change more than once.

Keep up to date with the changes – To ensure that you are able to access legal databases over the summer please look through the notes below.  In addition please check your Oxford e-mail and/or  this blog regularly for updates.  In addition updates will be noted on our “password update” web page and on Oxlip.

Using Lexis and Westlaw away from Oxford  –  if you want to use Lexis and Westlaw after 31st July from off campus you will probably have to use the OUCS VPN.    It is highly probable that this will be the only way of accessing Lexis and Westlaw from outside the Oxford network after July 31st.

If at all possible you are advised to install the VPN on your computer before you leave Oxford – since this will allow you to get help should you encounter problems.     Please see our instructions on installing and using the VPN.

If you would like help installing and using the VPN please come to a drop in session in the Freshfields Room during 8th week at one of the following times Tues 10 June 2-4pm, Wed 11th June 3-5pm, Thurs 12 June 2-4pm, Fri 13 June 10am-12 noon, 2-4pm. Alternatively make an appointment by e-mailing

Changes to web addresses   – The URLs for some databases are likely to change during the summer so be sure to follow links from the Law Library’s list of legal databases or Oxlip rather than using your own bookmarks or Google.   If you do use your own bookmarks and find that you are denied access it is likely that we are using a different login page.  Check legal databases or Oxlip to find out.

Lexis Alerts – Unfortunately any Lexis alerts or personlised pages that you have set up using your Athens account will not be available after 31 July.   You will be able to set up new alerts later in the year (although it is not clear when at the moment – watch this space).   It is important to remove your alerts from Lexis before 31 July – once Athens has disappeared you will never be able to cancel them but you’ll still receive the e-mails! We’ll remind you about this nearer the time.

If you can’t log on to a database please let us know by e-mailing or by telephone (01865) 271472.

What will happen in the future?  – OULS are currently working on a  brand new gateway to electronic resources.  This will offer a wide range of services including a single username and password (the Oxford single sign on) for all databases.  Advance versions of the new interface may be available during the summer.  If you’d like to start using the new system as soon as its available watch this space for more information!

Photograph of “The Office” by Scott Ableman (

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