About Chest

Chest is part of Eduserv. The Team at Chest negotiate preferential licence agreements for software and online resources for the academic sector.

What are Chest Agreements?

A Chest Agreement is a contract between a supplier of commercially available software or online resources (e.g. abstracts, full text, journals, e-books, video) to licence their product(s) to the education and research communities in the UK and Republic of Ireland over a fixed period. It guarantees the licence terms and conditions and pricing.

Chest manages over 70 agreements from around 50 different suppliers. Currently 99% of Higher Education institutions and over 75% of FE colleges are participating in one or more agreements.

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Why Chest?

In the late 1980s the Combined Higher Education Software Team was formed by a group of universities under the auspices of the Computer Board - the predecessor of the JISC - to research, negotiate preferential terms and conditions and manage community-wide agreements for software. The activity of the team soon extended to include Further Education and online data resources; so the acronym CHEST lost its original meaning. We continue to use it to describe our licence contracts, ‘Chest Agreements’, as it had became so well understood and trusted by the academic community.

The original team was based at the University of Bath, where the Athens (now OpenAthens) service was also developed in the 1990s. In 1999 the not-for-profit group Eduserv was formed from these services.

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What are the advantages of Chest Agreements?

Suppliers save time and money and benefit from Eduserv’s expert knowledge of working with over 700 universities, colleges and other organisations in the UK and Ireland for nearly 25 years. Find out more about becoming a supplier.

Chest Agreements offer universities, colleges and other organisations value for money and preferential licence terms and conditions. We work closely with members of the academic community evaluating products and licence proposals to ensure that the agreements meet their needs. Suggestions for new Chest Agreements are welcome at any time by making a wish, contacting Chest Help or simply talking to one of our staff.

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What are the savings to the community?

We estimate that Chest Agreements save the academic community around £70.2 million collectively in the cost of software and online resources products per year (March 2016 - February 2017).

The method we use to calculate the savings compares the prices available under the Chest Agreements with the prices otherwise payable outside the agreements. Eduserv obtains these prices from the suppliers and other sources. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has approved the methodology and has carried out spot checks to verify some of the savings by contacting the sales offices of suppliers directly. Included in the savings is an estimate of the process time saved by institutions by not having to undertake negotiations.

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Who is eligible to subscribe to Chest Agreements?

All Universities and Colleges of Further Education in the UK are eligible to subscribe to Chest Agreements. We negotiate with suppliers to include other institutions and organisations but their inclusion is at the discretion of the supplier. These include:

  • Universities and colleges in Ireland
  • Associate Members are involved in education and must meet other criteria
  • Private universities and colleges and other training organisations - contact our Help Desk
  • Registered charities are also eligible to join some agreements and can become Associate Members

If you have other questions about eligibility please contact our Help Desk.

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Our contracts and licences

Our standard contracts and licences have been drawn up by our legal experts in consultation with institutions and suppliers and have been refined over a long period of time. They are trusted by suppliers and are proven as fit for purpose for academic needs.

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Product selection process

Our selection process is simple - Eduserv negotiates for, and manages, agreements for products that users have asked for or expressed interest in. It is driven only by demand and the need to provide better value for money and licence terms than can be obtained elsewhere.

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What are wishes?

One of the ways that universities and colleges tell us about the resources that they would like us to negotiate agreements for is by submitting a wish using our web form. See Make a wish.

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Agreement details

Each Agreement has an Overview, which sets out the details of the Agreement, including product and licensing information, pricing and instructions on how to order and details on service and support.

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How do I order products?

For the majority of Agreements you will find instructions on how to order in the Agreement Overview, with links to downloadable copies of all the necessary forms. You complete these and return them to Eduserv or the supplier as described in the ‘Pricing and Ordering’ section.

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What are the conditions for purchasing?

Payment terms can be found in the 'Pricing and Ordering Section' of each Agreement Overview.

Licence terms for most Chest Agreements are based on the standard terms and conditions for Data and Software. However, you must check the details of each agreement to see what terms and conditions apply and if there are other special terms and condition.

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