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Compendex and EI Backfiles

Available to purchase until

Subscriptions to Compendex one of the most comprehensive engineering literature databases and the purchase of the Engineering Index Backfile, a comprehensive, historical view of engineering developments and innovations described in literature from 1884-1969.

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 2021.
  • All 5 year licences end 7 December 2023. 
  • Pro-rata charging (monthly) for sites licensed partway through year.

Key dates

  • Agreement start: 8 December 2018
  • Agreement end: 7 December 2023

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 2018 and expiring on 7 December 2021 with the option to extend thereafter
  • A fixed five year term commencing on 8 December 2018 and expiring on 7 December 2023

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 Ei Village platform. 

Product Information

Supplier Details

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

Product Description

Ei Compendex is the broadest and most complete engineering literature database available in the world. It provides a truly holistic and global view of peer reviewed and indexed publications with over 20 million records from 77 countries across 190 engineering disciplines. Every record is carefully selected and indexed using the Engineering Index Thesaurus to ensure discovery and retrieval of engineering-specific literature that engineering students and professionals can rely on. By using Ei Compendex, engineers can be confident information is relevant, complete, accurate and of high quality.

Download Compendex source list.

Content sources (and counting*)

  • 190 engineering disciplines
  • 77 countries
  • 2,200 publishers
  • 3,615 journals
  • 330 Open Access titles
  • 116 trade magazines
  • 95,790 conference proceedings
  • 78 book series
  • articles in press from 1,369 journals
  • 119,273 dissertations
  • all technical standards from IEEE with more standards from other organisations on the way.

Content size (and counting*)

  • 20+ million records >1970
  • 11.6 million journal articles
  • 6.9 million conference papers
  • 27,000 records added weekly
  • 1.78 million records from 1884-1969 (Ei Backfile)

Ei Compendex cross-disciplinary areas

Pir chart of the Ei Compendex cross-disciplinary areas

Ei Compendex related areas

  • Applied Physics, including Optics
  • Bioengineering and Biotechnology
  • Food Science and Technology
  • Materials Science
  • Instrumentation, including Medical Devices
  • Nanotechnology

Founded in 1884, Engineering Index has recorded virtually every major engineering innovation from around the world. The Engineering Index Backfile provides a comprehensive, historical view of engineering innovations from 1884-1969 with over 1.7 million records digitized from the original print indexes. Combined with Ei Compendex, it provides the most comprehensive overview of the last 130 years of engineering literature and it is available on Engineering Village only.

Why Ei Compendex on Engineering Village
Ei Compendex is indexed specifically for engineers using the Engineering Index Thesaurus, making search results consistently accurate and relevant to engineering research. Engineering Village's powerful search tools leverage Ei Compendex's controlled vocabulary, making it quick and easy for users to refine their searches and gain insight from results.
Other unique features available only on Engineering Village are:

  • Citation counts, citation details and author profiles from Scopus
  • Publisher search, limit to or exclude feature
  • Ei Backfiles for publications between 1884 - 1969
  • Articles in press from 1,260 journals

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


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

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 8:00am to 6:00pm U.S. eastern time at:

  • Harry Malty
  • email: h.maltby@elsevier.com or
  • phone Elsevier Service Desk: +1 800-221-1044
  • fax Elsevier Service Desk: +1 212 633 3680

Product Documentation

User guides are available from Engineering Information.

Copying of hardcopy and electronic documentation is permitted.

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

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.


This Site licence is subject to the terms and conditions for the Standard Chest Licence for Online Resources.

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 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Annual licences renew automatically unless an institution opts out by giving notice on or before 8 September 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

3 Year licences renew automatically unless an institution opts out by giving notice on or before 8th September 2021

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.

All Purchase orders must be made out to JISC, One Castlepark, Tower Hill, Bristol, BS2 0JA.

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


  • See the below for any exclusions and restrictions
  • The resources may not be used for anything other than Educational Purposes unless the Licence Extension for Commercial Projects has been bought; this allows use for the restricted “Commercial Projects” defined – see Annex B of the Licence (Licence Extension for Commercial Projects)
  • Downloading of large amounts of material by authorised users that might be considered ‘systematic’.

Termination Clauses

Current Data

Material downloaded under the Agreement before its expiry may continue to be used under the same licence conditions as pertain while the Agreement exists.

Once the Agreement has terminated then no further access to the service and to future publications will be possible unless the Agreement is renewed or extended. If the Agreement is renewed or extended then new conditions will apply. If the Agreement is not renewed then renewal is a matter between Institutions and Elsevier.


Material may continue to be accessed and downloaded under the Agreement after its expiry and can continue to be used under the same licence conditions as pertain while the Agreement exists at no further charge provided a subscription to the current data is maintained. Failure to maintain a current subscription will result in a platform fee being charged to access the Backfile.

Opt Out
Annual licences renew automatically unless an institution opts out by giving notice on or before 8 September 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

The Fee for early termination in accordance with clause 10.4 of the Terms and Conditions for the Standard Chest Licence for Online Resources is nil.

The Fee for retention rights upon termination in accordance with clause 10.5 of the Terms and Conditions for the Standard Chest Licence for Online Resources is nil.

Personal Licences

Personal licences are not available.

Exceptions to the Terms and Conditions

Clause 10.4 of the Terms and Conditions for the Standard Chest Licence for Online Resources is amended so that ninety and not sixty days’ prior written notice must be given to terminate this Licence Agreement.

Term and Condition (Definition) 1.1(a)(i) is amended by the deletion of this sentence: “Visiting students and researchers are classed as “Students” whether or not they are reported or registered or enrolled by the Licensee.”

Term and Condition 2.2(f) is deleted.

Products and Pricing

Currency: All prices are in GBP and exclude VAT 

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 2021/22 and 2022/23 for institutions previously licensed for 3 years.
  • Five year subscription with annual payments
  • Backfile

If you prefer, then you can complete the pdf Elsevier Compendex and Ei Backfile 2018 Order Form and scan submit it to Chest Help by email.

Payment Terms are shown on the Terms and Conditions tab.

Compendex and EI Backfile

The Backfile may be purchased at any time during the 5 year agreement for a one-off fee of £9,532 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).


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