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Compendex and EI Backfiles 2023

Available to purchase until

Compendex is an engineering-focused knowledge database and data discovery tool that provides comprehensive and trustworthy content to improve research and learning outcomes and maximise the impact of your engineering research and teaching. It is available as a subscription. The Engineering Index (Ei) Backfile, a comprehensive, historical view of engineering developments and innovations described in literature from 1884-1969. The backfile is available as a purchase.

Key Facts


  • Five year agreement with options for 1 year, 3 year, or 5 year licences plus 1 or 2 year extensions. 
  • All 3 year licences end 7 December 2026.
  • All 5 year licences end 7 December 2028. 
  • Pro-rata charging (monthly) for sites licensed partway through year.

Key dates

  • Agreement start: 8 December 2023
  • Agreement end: 7 December 2028


Standard rate applies to Compendex and EI Backfiles

Institution Commitment Period

This Agreement is of 5 years duration. Institutions may join the agreement at any time during the agreement period. They can choose to licence on an annual basis or a fixed 3 year or 5 year term.

Licence dates: Licences run to 7 December.

Institutions can choose:

  • An annual renewal,
  • A fixed three year licence commencing on 8 December 2023 and expiring on 7 December 2026 with the option to extend thereafter
  • A fixed five year term commencing on 8 December 2023 and expiring on 7 December 2028

Licence Type

Site licence.


For a 30 day free trial of this service please contact Chest Help

Eligible Institutions

Universities, colleges and other learning, educational and research bodies in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Other organisations aligned with JISC’s charitable objectives of supporting education, research bodies and the public sector may ask to participate in the Agreement. JISC will liaise with the Supplier about any such requests.

Background Information

This agreement continues the longstanding licence arrangements in place with Elsevier for content on the Engineering Village platform.

Product Information

Supplier Details

Owner: Elsevier BV, of Radarweg 29, 1043 NX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Product Description

Compendex is an engineering-focused knowledge database and data discovery tool that provides comprehensive and trustworthy content to improve research and learning outcomes and maximise the impact of your engineering research and teaching.

Sources are carefully selected, and indexed using the Engineering Index (Ei) Thesaurus to ensure discovery and retrieval of engineering focused literature

Researchers can be confident that by using Compendex, information is complete, relevant, accurate and of high quality

Download Compendex source list.

Content sources (and counting*)

  • 190 engineering disciplines
  • 89 countries
  • 2,659 publishers
  • 4,223 journals
  • 333 Open Access titles
  • 217 trade magazines
  • 150,184 conference proceedings
  • 173 book series
  • Articles in press from 2,108 journals
  • Technical standards from 13 Standard Development Organisations (SDOs), including IEEE, SAE, ASTM, BSI, with more standards from other organisations on the way.

Content size (and counting*)

  • 32.6 million records >1970
  • 18.7 million journal articles
  • 11.0 million conference papers
  • 5.3 million Open Access (OA) records
  • 334,142 dissertations
  • 223,154 standards items (active and inactive)
  • 38.949 books and 296,726 book chapters
  • 1,282,199 preprints
  • 30K-35K records added weekly

    *Compendex front file only as of October 2023. These counts will have increased by December 2023.

Ei Compendex cross-disciplinary areas

Ei Compendex related areas

Compendex covers many subjects and interdisciplinary areas not easily represented in a simple pie chart. Here is a small selection of many other topics that comprise the database:

  • Renewable energy & Sustainability
  • Transportation
  • Bioengineering and Biotechnology
  • Medical technology & devices
  • Food Science and Technology
  • AI and machine learning
  • Production and Manufacturing
  • Metallurgical Engineering
  • Instrumentation & Measurement
  • Automotive engineering
  • Nanotechnology
  • Aerospace


Founded in 1884, The Engineering Index recorded virtually every major engineering innovation from around the world. The Engineering Index (Ei) Backfile provides a comprehensive, historical view of those engineering innovations from 1884-1969 with over 1.74 million records digitized from the original print indexes. Combined with Compendex, it provides the most comprehensive overview of the last 139 years of engineering literature and research

Why Ei Compendex on Engineering Village

Your engineering research begins here, with both broad and deep coverage of critical content
Comprising journals, conference proceedings, and books while also including unique sources of particular relevance to engineering such as standards, dissertations and most recently searchable pre-prints. Compendex content is sourced from thousands of publishers from around the world, including major engineering societies like IEEE, ASME, SAE, ACM, and many others. The amount of engineering-focused scholarly and technical literature in Compendex is vast and global in scope, featuring everything from the latest cutting-edge findings to historical research and innovations.

Engineering content is carefully selected, reviewed and evaluated
The content in Compendex is carefully chosen and draws from only the best sources in the field of engineering. An ongoing review and evaluation process guarantees that you always get high quality results.

Robust indexing and search capabilities make discovery easy
With advanced search tools and an engineering-specific answer set, Compendex gets you to the information you need at top speed. Sophisticated indexing leads you to faster discovery and precise, relevant answers while also ensuring you are not missing any critical information.

Thesaurus Indexing
All content is indexed in a meaningful way using Controlled Vocabulary to navigate searches and map out research territory. Discover how various concepts relate to one another: narrow down, broaden or branch out in a systematic way.
Around 150 to 175 new concepts are added each year to reflect the evolution of engineering.

Retrospective Indexing
A new capability, that is now deployed annually, has been developed to refresh the indexing in Compendex with new and amended controlled terms and classification codes. This means the new concepts we introduce each year are not only added to new content, but they are also applied retrospectively in the database to enhance discoverability. Additionally, the improvements the indexing team have made to the existing terms throughout the year are able to be applied widely across the database, to continuously improve precision and recall at scale.

Numerical Indexing
In addition, Numerical Indexing to ensure you can search and discover relevant information based on numerical values.
Apply the Refine by Physical Property function to search for one of the 62 physical properties.

Chemical Indexing
The Compendex chemical indexing identifies chemical formulas and adds the relevant Ei indexing keywords for elements, compounds and material formulas to ensure precision and maximum recall.

Access and Identity Management Solution


OpenAthens Yes
IP Address range Yes
Shibboleth Yes
EZProxy Yes
Username / Password Yes
Referring url No

Technical Function Specification

Technical Function



Supplier Notes

Full text linking




Federated searching

Z39.50 protocol


EV has customers that utilize Federated Searching. EV is not certified with this standard






RSS or Atom



Metadata standards

Dublin Core









Months embargo period




Digital preservation








Usage statistics








Web Content Accessibility Guidelines


WCAG 2 and Section 508
Engineering Village Accessibility Statement

Personalisation features




Service levels




The supplier confirms that throughout the term of the agreement the products will comply with the standards indicated.


New content is added weekly.


All additions and new functionality will be incorporated at no additional charge. 

Service and Support


Information for new subscribers

Consultation, Demo and Structured Trials, Please contact:

Susan Watson
Customer Consultant

Login information

Supplier: Elsevier and Engineering Village

Technical Support

Support will be provided by Elsevier to any user of the data at the Institution. Elsevier support can be contacted at:

  • email: nlinfo@elsevier.com

Product Documentation

Current Subscribers

Libguide is available

Engineering Research and Education information

Engagement, Promotion and Training

For tailored support, please contact:

  • Susan Watson, Customer Consultant
  • Email: susan.watson@elsevier.com

Training and Training Materials

Training is included in the price given and is available either on site or via the web.

All queries should be directed to the EI Customer Support Helpdesk.

Terms and Conditions

Licensor: Elsevier BV, of Radarweg 29, 1043 NX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The Chest Order, together with the Licence Terms and Conditions, and any exceptions listed below, create a legally binding contract between your institution, organisation or company and the Licensor. Therefore please read the terms and conditions carefully and only submit a Chest Order if its terms and conditions are acceptable to your institution, organisation or company and you have the authority to make the financial commitment shown.


The EI Compendex Agreement is not a Standard Chest Agreement. Please be sure to read the EI Compendex Licence Terms and Conditions carefully before purchasing under this agreement.

Payment Terms

Ei Compendex
On receipt of a completed Order, Institutions will be invoiced for the Agreement year in which the Licence is signed.

For 3 or 5 year licences in subsequent years, Institutions will be invoiced three months in advance of the anniversary date of the Agreement, on 8 September 2024, 2025, 2026 and 2027.

Annual licences renew automatically unless an institution opts out by giving notice on or before 8 September 2024, 2025, 2026 and 2027.

3 Year licences renew automatically unless an institution opts out by giving notice on or before 8 September 2026.

There is monthly pro-rata charging for Institutions which become licensed partway through a licence year.

Ei Compendex Backfile
On receipt of a completed Order, Institutions will be invoiced for the full amount of the Backfile as a one-off perpetual purchase fee. No further charges are due unless a subscription to the front list is not maintained.

Chest is an Enterprise of Jisc. All Purchase orders must be made out to JISC Services, 4 Portwall Lane, Bristol, BS1 6NB

All terms contained in a PO are expressly rejected and do not form part of the Licence or vary the Licence terms in any way.

Please send purchase orders and any other files relating to your Chest order by email to help@chest.ac.uk or by mail to Chest (a Jisc Enterprise), 4 Portwall Lane, Bristol, BS1 6NB

Payments are due within thirty days of invoice date; recipients of late payments are entitled to interest in accordance with UK statutory provisions.

What are institutions and library services allowed to do?

Keep a local cached copy for Educational Purposes


Incorporation of parts of the Licensed Material


Deposit learning and teaching objects in repositories


Interlibrary loan


Who can use the resource?


On site

Remote access







Visiting Researchers and Students



Walk-in users






What can authorised users do?

The resources can be used for Educational Purposes – defined as:

  • education
  • teaching
  • distance learning
  • private study
  • academic research
  • administration and management of the Licensee’s educational or research operations


  • The resources may not be used for anything other than Educational Purposes.
  • Downloading of large amounts of material by authorised users that might be considered ‘systematic’.

Termination Clauses

The Fee for early termination in accordance with clause 9.2 of the Terms and Conditions for the Licence is nil.

The Fee for retention rights upon termination in accordance with clause 10.1.3 of the Terms and Conditions for the Licence s is nil.

Subject to any Fee shown on the Website, the Licensee may retain an electronic copy of parts of the Licensed Material in its archives for reference only. Copies of parts of the Licensed Material already made and/or used by the Licensee or Authorised Users in accordance with clause may be retained and used in accordance with the terms of this Licence Agreement.

Opt Out

Publisher’s discretion,

Annual licences renew automatically unless an institution opts out by giving notice on or before 8 September 2024, 2025, 2026 and 2027.

Institutions may opt out of their multi-year licence at the Publisher’s discretion, by giving notice no later than 9 October annually. Such notice shall be provided by email to help@chest.ac.uk and will be passed to the supplier.

Personal Licences

Personal licences are not available.

Exceptions to the Terms and Conditions

This agreement does not use the Standard Chest Licence for Online Resources, instead it uses an adaptation of the terms and conditions agreed between Jisc and Elsevier for its Science Direct journals agreement. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact help@chest.ac.uk.

Products and Pricing


 All prices are in GBP 


Standard rate applies to Compendex and EI Backfiles

Licence year:

 From 8 December to 7 December in the following year.

Licence options are:

  • Annual subscriptions 
  • Three year subscription with annual payments
  • One year licence extensions for years 2026/27 and 2027/28 for institutions previously licensed for 3 years.
  • Five year subscription with annual payments
  • Backfile

Payment Terms are shown on the Terms and Conditions tab.

Compendex and Backfile

The Backfile may be purchased at any time during the 5 year agreement for a one-off fee of £9,723 plus VAT. No further charges are due as long at the site maintains a current subscription to Ei Village. If a site cancels its current subscription then an annual charge of £1,695 will be payable to access the Backfile data (This charge will be issued directly by Elsevier).

Please use the filters below to make your selection


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