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The Betty & Gordon Moore Library


Q. What is Raven?

Raven is a web authentication service administered by University Information Services used by some web sites within and outside the University that provide resources for the University of Cambridge, to identify people so that decisions (such as granting or denying access) can be made based on attributes of who that person is and on other information about them while maintaining privacy of personal data.

Q. Who can have a Raven account?

Raven accounts are issued to current staff and students of the University and others by University Information Services. Only current staff and students can use Raven to access password controlled licensed electronic services.

Q. I'm a retired member of staff, can I have a Raven account?

It is normal practice to allow retiring staff who are receiving a University or College pension to keep their University Computing Service accounts. A retired member in receipt of their Cambridge University pension, who doesn't have an account, should contact the University Information Services. See here for further details. In regards to retired members of staff wishing to use Raven to access e-resources the following statement may apply .

The licence terms under which we are authorising users for access to online resources, via Raven, still generally exclude retired members of an institution as a class. As previously under ATHENS we would extend the definition of "current staff or student" to included a retired member of staff who remains academically active within the department or College and therefore whose use can legitimately be seen as being for University purposes.

We would require some form of communication, be that letter or email, from the faculty to that effect.

Q. Who is not allowed to access password-protected electronic resources?

All Alumni (including those with MA degrees) of the University, who no longer conduct research, teach or study at Cambridge are not entitled to an account. Members of private companies who have close links to University departments, employees of the NHS or MRC or any Recognised Non-University Institution without a joint University appointment and visitors to University premises (including libraries) unless designated official visiting status by either a department or college, are also not entitled to access University licensed material. Even those supervising University post graduate students are, under this policy, not entitled to access the same University licenced services that the student can use.

Registration at and admission to Cambridge University Library and Dependent Libraries as a non-University patron does not include any entitlement to use Raven-protected electronic resources or to be issued with a Raven password.

Q. Where do I get a Raven account from?

Raven accounts are issued by the Computing Service. See here for details

Q. I have a Raven account how can I test that it's working?

Click test and follow the instructions on the page. In order to check that your Raven account will provide access to protected eresources go to this test page.

Q. When will my Raven account expire?

Raven accounts generally remain active until the Computing Service is notified by the department or college that a user has left the University so should not periodically expire as was the case with ATHENS accounts.

Q. What should I do if I lose or forget my username/password?

If you can't load the test page, you will need to contact the Computing Service. Do not disclose your Raven password to anyone. You will never be asked for it by a member of staff at either the Computing Service or the Library.

Q. I have a working Raven account, how do I use it to access ejournals and databases?

The recommended access route on or off campus for electronic resources is eresources@cambridge or, in the case of ejournals, ejournals@cambridge.


The ejournals page will contain the correct URLs and coverage details for the titles you are looking for.

For example, if searching for Nature:-

1. Go to ejournals@cambridge.

2. Enter "Nature" as a title search.

3. From its entry in the list of results click the link on the 2nd line.

For example: Nature (London)  (0028-0836)  View Terms of Use

from 1869 to present in Nature


This is the quickest route to your journal. When on-campus nearly all eresources, unless otherwise stated, are available via IP recognition. If you followed the example above then you should have arrived at the journal homepage from where you can browse to your paper.

If you were off-campus then a Raven login page would have appeared, you would login and then be taken to the journal homepage.

If off-campus and a Raven login page hasn't appeared and in clicking the 2nd link you are taken straight to the journal page, you will need to follow the instructions below to access via Shibboleth/institutional login.

Databases, ebooks etc.

Access to databases and ebooks is via eresources@cambridge, find the resource you're looking for, click its link and if a Raven login page doesn't appear and you don't have full access then login via the the following information.

Shibboleth/institutional login

When you follow the link for the resource you are wishing to access, if a Raven login page doesn't first appear, a login is required. You will need to find and click on login link that is identified by one of the following:

  • Shibboleth login
  • Login via your home institution
  • Institutional login
  • UK Federation
  • UK Federation mangement


1. Click on the Shibboleth/Institutional Login link.

2.  On the  "Which organisation would you like to sign in with?" webpage either type, University of Cambridge or select it by clicking "Let me choose from a list".
3.  A Raven login box will appear and you should now enter your details.

4.  You will be returned to the start page and the words “Logged in via University of Cambridge” now appear at the top right hand side of the screen. You are now ready to use the service.

If your starting point had been a journal then you will be returned to the specific journal page.

Accessing JSTOR via Shibboleth

1. Select "Login" from the top right hand corner of of any JSTOR page or go direct to .


2. Under "Access through a participating institution", halfway down on the login page, select UK and then University of Cambridge and click login

3. You will then be redirected to the Raven authentication page where you should enter your account details.

4. You will be returned to the start page and the words “Logged in via University of Cambridge” now appear at the top right hand side of the screen. You are now ready to use the service.

Q. How do I know what I can use Raven with?

As with ATHENS, Raven will only work with resources and content for which the University actually holds a current licence. To establish which sites require a Raven login you should always go through the eresources@cambridge website, as this will confirm what we have access to and provide information regarding dates of coverage and access routes.

Should you find you can't access something that you should be able to use and your Raven account is working fine then please contact the helpdesk by using this form.

Q. I have an ATHENS account that has expired, can I get it renewed?

ATHENS accounts, that haven't expired will continue to work until July 2008. All accounts, regardless of expiry dates will cease working at this point. University ATHENS administration staff and any departmental or college staff involved in the issuing or modifying of ATHENS account will no longer be dealing with expired accounts. All enquires, previously sent to the ATHENS helpdesk should now be sent to the University library Raven helpdesk.

Q. Is there a helpdesk ?

Yes. Please use for any related question you might have that has not been covered elsewhere on this page. This helpdesk is manned during normal office hours. Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm.

Please note that it is not possible to give out passwords over the phone or send them via email. No member of staff at either the Computing Service or the University Library will ever ask you for your password nor should it be revealed within the text of any enquiry.

Q. Why can I not access ejournals through a wireless connection via my laptop when I'm on-campus?

Access to eresources is possible via your laptop, through wireless hotspots that are available throughout the University. It is recommended that University of Cambridge users configure their wireless device to use Eduroam rather than Lapwing. This is because access to some electronic titles is not permitted through Lapwing for network security reasons.

Information for current University of Cambridge users on how to configure your wirless device, including mobiles, iphones etc., is available from the University Computing Service.

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