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Access to Licensed Electronic Media

General Information

The library has purchased (licensed) numerous digital offerings. Details can be found on our website on databases, e-journals, e-books.

Access for ...

Members of Bielefeld University

Access from off campus


The Shibboleth authentication process allows access to licensed digital offerings from off campus using your personal BITS login. The installation of additional software, as with access via VPN, is not necessary. The aim of Shibboleth is to be able to use as many web-based applications as possible with just one user ID ("single sign-on procedure"). You can log in to numerous services via Shibboleth.

Login via Shibboleth

  1. On the website of some providers / publishers you can directly select a link "Institutional Login" or "Log in via Shibboleth". If there is no such link on the website, first click on "Log in", "Sign in" or "Registration". A new selection window will open: select here that you would like to log in via an institution. Do not enter a personal identifier or email address.
  2. On the provider's shibboleth page, select "Bielefeld University" from the list or enter the terms in a search mask. If you do not find a corresponding entry for our university, access via shibboleth is not possible or not yet activated.
  3. After the selection you will get to the shibboleth login page of Bielefeld University. Enter your BITS ID and your web password and click on "Login".
  4. If necessary, select which data you would like to transfer to the provider.
  5. You will now be redirected back to the provider's website and can use all licensed library services as if you were on campus.

If you have any questions about the login / password, please contact the service desk of the Library Service Centre. Please also note the general information from BITS on the page Web Authentication with Shibboleth.

Data protection and Data security

The transmission of data to other organisations is subject to data protection if personal data is involved. The Shibboleth procedure makes it possible to handle personal data particularly sparingly. In particular, your password is not transmitted to the service provider. The password is checked on servers at Bielefeld University.


Shibboleth currently does not allow a single logout. If you use shibboleth-secured services from public PCs, delete your private data (cookies) in the browser and thus your shibboleth session key.


If a provider/publisher does not provide authentication via shibboleth or you do not wish to use it, access via VPN (Virtual Private Network) is usually possible. The so-called VPN client is a software that allows students and staff of Bielefeld University to log in from anywhere their BITS ID. After logging into the VPN client, you are "virtual" on campus and can also use the services free of charge whose access is normally restricted to the campus.

Members of Bielefeld University can download the VPN software from the website of the Bielefeld IT Service Center (BITS):
Download VPN software

If you have any questions regarding the download or technical problems with the VPN client, please contact the Bielefeld IT Service Center (BITS):
BITS consulting

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