Skip to main content
Support - EBSCO Help

Tips for Streamlining eBook Authentication: Enable Personal User Authentication

Enable Personal User Authentication

While any user with a login for your institution may access your eBook collection and basic functionality, including reading eBooks, as well as saving, printing, or emailing chapters, additional functionality is available if users create a My EBSCOhost account. Additional functionality includes downloading eBooks to read them offline, or taking and saving notes. For downloaded eBooks, a My EBSCOhost account allows EBSCO to transfer an eBook license to the user and enforce your library’s checkout period. A My EBSCOhost account, or personal user account, is also required to download eBooks to your mobile device and read them with the Bluefire mobile app.

How Personal User Authentication Works

Enabling Personal User Authentication at your institution means that a user’s My EBSCOhost account is all that user would need to access your EBSCO content. In other words, it enables them to bypass an institutional login and access EBSCOhost quickly and directly, with full (personalized) functionality.

Normally, to access EBSCO resources purchased by your institution, a user first logs in with institutional credentials (usually an IP address or library card). From there they can then login to their My EBSCOhost account if they want to download or take notes. However, enabling Personal User Authentication (PUA) in EBSCOadmin enables your users to access your valuable EBSCO resources directly, via, without first using their library credentials.

Advantages of Enabling Personal User Authentication
  • Streamline EBSCOhost Database User Experience: With PUA enabled users can authenticate and personalize in one step, making materials saved to their folder more quickly accessible.

  • Streamline your Audiobook User Experience: PUAs are required to download Audiobooks. If you own audiobooks or you’re considering acquiring audio content, it’s best to enable PUA as soon as possible.

How to Enable Personal User Authentication
  • Your account is most likely set to the default setting of No for enabling Personal User Authentication

  • To change this setting, go to EBSCOadmin ( and click the radio button for Yes

  • Then decide how long you want these Personal User Accounts to be valid (Days Until Reauthorization)

    ebooks and PUA - EBSCOadmin settings

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I have to manage all the user accounts that my users create?

A: No. In EBSCOadmin, you can view a list of all the Personal User Accounts affiliated with your library. As a security measure, EBSCO allows you to set the “Days Until Reauthorization.” This means the number of days the PUA is valid on its own before users have to log back in with their library credentials first.

  • The Days Until Reauthorization defaults to 90 days, but most customers increase this to 365.

  • If a user accesses EBSCOhost via the library credentials and then signs into their PUA, the Days Until Reauthorization clock resets.

Q: How do I adjust Days Until Reauthorization?

A: In EBSCOadmin, go to the Personal Users tab, enter the number of days and click Submit.

PUA and days until reauthorization settings

Q: Can’t my users already download eBooks with a My EBSCOhost account?

A: Yes, a My EBSCOhost account behaves similarly to a PUA from the user’s perspective. However, if a user creates a My EBSCOhost account and PUA is not enabled at your institution, the user will have to log in first with their library credentials and then a second time with their My EBSCOhost account. If PUA is enabled, they only need to log in once.