Below you will find answers to many of the questions relating to Chest and Chest Agreements that people ask.
Background information about the Chest service.
In the late 1980s the Combined Higher Education Software Team, C.H.E.S.T., 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; the acronym lost its original meaning. We continue to use it to describe our licence contracts, ‘Chest Agreements’, as what they stand for is 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 developed in the 1990s. In 1999 the not-for-profit group Eduserv was formed from these services.
What are Chest Agreements?
A Chest Agreement is a contract between a supplier of commercially available software or online resources to licence their product(s) to the education and research communities in the UK and Republic of Ireland over a fixed period. A Chest Agreement guarantees the licence terms and conditions and pricing. Chest manages over 80 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.
What are the advantages of Chest Agreements?
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. For suppliers, Chest Agreements offer a route into the academic market, save them time and money and the benefit of Eduserv’s expert knowledge,
What are the savings to the academic community?
We estimate that in the year March 2017 - February 2018 Chest Agreements saved the academic community around £78 million collectively in the cost of software and online resources licences and efficiency savings. 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) approved the methodology and carried out spot checks to verify the savings by contacting the sales offices of suppliers. Included in the savings is an estimate of the process time saved by institutions by not having to undertake negotiations.
What about Chest contracts and licences?
Our standard contracts and licences are 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.
What type of organisations are automatically eligible to subscribe to Chest Agreements?
All publicly funded Universities and Colleges of Further Education in the UK are eligible to subscribe to Chest Agreements.
Are other organisations able to subscribe to Chest Agreements?
Yes, Chest negotiates with suppliers to include other institutions and organisations but their participation is at the discretion of each supplier. Other organisations include: universities and third-level colleges in Ireland, private universities and colleges and other training organisations, and not-for-profit organisations. Other types of organisations that meet certain criteria can become Associate Members, a special class of membership, that allows them to benefit from the specially negotiated terms and prices of some Chest Agreements. Associate Membership is free of charge. If your uncertain then contact firstname.lastname@example.org
What is not-for-profit organisation?
In the UK and in the Republic of Ireland” not-for-profit organisations are defined as registered charities listed on the website of the Charity Commission for England and Wales, or the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, or the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, or, in the case of the Republic of Ireland, registered with the appropriate department of the Government of the Republic of Ireland as a bona-fide charity.
How does my organisation become an Associate Member?
Does your organisation meet the following criteria? Is your organisation significantly engaged in teaching and/or academic research? | Does your organisation support Higher and/or Further Education? | Is your organisation wholly resident in the UK? | Is your organisation not-for-profit? If you can answer 'yes' to these questions then contact email@example.com.
In this section you can find out about the types of products that Chest Agreements cover and how Chest decides what products to negotiate for.
What type of products do Chest Agreements cover?
Online Resource Agreements include all types of digital resources: from eJournals, eBooks, backfiles, databases, reference materials, standards, to videos… and more. Software Agreements cover products widely used in teaching and research. As well as generalist products from Microsoft and Adobe they include subject specific products in GIS, statistics and maths, qualitative data analysis, mind mapping and others.
How does Chest select the products for a Chest Agreement?
Our selection process is simple - Chest 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. There must be interest from several organisations to make it worthwhile - there is strength in numbers!
How can I suggest a resource for a Chest Agreement?
Simply - any way that you like; by email or call to the Chest Help Desk, at meetings, conferences and seminars, or using the online 'Suggest a new Agreement' Form. We'll add it to the Suggestion Box and keep you informed of any progress.
What happens when I vote for one of the suggestions?
Your vote is registered. Once we have a sufficient number of votes, and this can be as few as two or three depending on the resource, we will endeavour to engage with the vendor. When we have a proposal we are likely to ask you for feedback that will help inform further negotiation. Voting does not commit you or your organisation to participate in an agreement once it is finalised.
This section contains information relating to the details of individual Chest Agreements, how to order and things that participants need to know about.
How do I find the Agreement details?
Each Agreement has an Overview made up of several sections. It sets out the details of the Agreement, including product and licensing information, pricing and instructions on how to order, payment details and information about the service and support. You can use search and filters to find exactly what you want.
How do I order?
You must register an account and login to order. Then choose the agreement, select your product(s) on the Product and Pricing tab, and click order and follow the online process. Alternatively, you can download a pdf and send it by email to Chest Help. Whichever route you take someone in the Chest Team will confirm the price and your order and you will receive an invoice. Payment terms are shown in the Agreement details.
Do I have to provide a purchase order number?
Not necessarily - it depends on the policy at your organisation. You will be asked this during the online order process. If your organisation has a “no PO, no pay” policy, then please ensure that you provide valid POs to Eduserv to cover any subsequent annual Licence terms by no later than three months before their commencement, when our invoices are scheduled to be raised.
What are the conditions for purchasing?
Payment terms can be found in the 'Products and Pricing' section of the Agreement Overview. Licence terms for most Chest Agreements are based on the standard terms and conditions for Data and Software. Normally payments are due within thirty days of invoice date; recipients of late payments are entitled to interest in accordance with UK statutory provisions. However, you should check the details of the specific agreement for the terms and conditions that apply and if there are other special terms and conditions.
What are the issues if you buy outside a Chest Agreement?
Any gains might be short term and could undermine the Chest Agreement service in the long term and impact on the whole academic community; you have no guarantee that the supplier will not increase the price next time or impose inappropriate licence terms, the benefits of central negotiation and price transparency will be lost, the vendor might be in breach of their Chest contract which means that we can take steps to ensure that all licensees benefit from the same extra discount or we can negotiate for smaller bundles or other products to be added to the agreement.
Why do I receive an invoice three months in advance of the licence anniversary date?
As a small charity, we need to have collected all monies prior to having to pay the suppliers – we do not have the resources to pay on behalf of the community. Invoices are issued approximately three months in advance and require payment within 30 days; if institutions cannot comply with this they should consider whether Chest Agreements are right for them.
Why have I received two invoices for annual payments in one financial year?
Chest licences usually are for 3 year licence terms. Your first annual invoice is issued on receipt of your order. In the subsequent years Eduserv will invoice three months in advance of start of the following Licence term. Depending on timing this means that you may have to pay two yearly Fees in the same financial year. In accounting terms and by best practice the invoices should be apportioned in the financial year to which they relate.
What about VAT?
VAT is added at the prevailing rate to Chest prices unless the licensee submits a VAT Medical exemption certificate with their order. Irish institutions are not charged VAT and can find a link to the current Eduserv Tax Clearance Certificate at the bottom of the website.
The success of Chest Agreements relies on collaboration between the academic community, suppliers and the Chest Team.
What meetings does Chest run for the academic community?
Chest runs a variety of special interest, general focus group and other ad-hoc meetings. All Chest Members are welcome to attend FOC. Meetings offer participants a lively platform to discuss the issues affecting all academic institutions, an opportunity to help shape new agreements and to meet suppliers f2f. Most groups meet once or twice a year and others as and when required. There are groups for Adobe, Business and Management Resources, Maths and Stats, Microsoft Special Interest Group, SAM, Security, STEM Resources and others.
How do I get involved in Chest meetings?
It's great if you want to get involved. Sign up to receive one or both the Online Resource and Software eNewsletters; you can do this on the website. And keep an eye on the events section of the website. Then simply sign up - all Chest meetings are free to attend.
What organisations is Chest involved with?
Academic Applications Forum [AAF] | Alumni Library Forum [http://www.alumnilibraryforum.com/] | Business Librarians Association [http://www.blalib.org/] | member of Project COUNTER [https://www.projectcounter.org/] | National Acquisitions Group [http://www.nag.org.uk/] | sherif [http://www.sherif.ac.uk/] | University Science and Technology Librarians Group [http://www.ustlg.org/] | member of UCISA Software Sub-Group, [http://www.ucisa.ac.uk/groups/ig/software.aspx] | member of UKSG [https://www.uksg.org/]
If you are supplier of software or a publisher of online resources then a Chest Agreement could help; raise your profile, reduce costs and increase sales to universities and colleges in the UK and Ireland. Chest has many years' experience of working closely with the academic community and understand their needs. Our close ties have given us a well-established network of contacts across the sector. We will work with you to deliver pricing and licence terms and conditions that meet the specific needs of the academic community.
You've heard of ‘Chest Agreements’ - but what are they?
A Chest Agreement is a contract between a supplier and Eduserv, to licence your product to universities and colleges over a fixed period. It guarantees the licence terms and conditions and pricing. Each institution chooses whether to subscribe to an agreement. Universities and colleges recognise that Chest Agreements offer value for money and appropriate licence terms and conditions and will choose to participate whenever they can. Before concluding an agreement we consult the academic community to satisfy ourselves that there is a demand for your products, that they are affordable and that take-up will be reasonable.
How will a Chest Agreement help your business to grow?
Our long standing reputation for value for money academic licences will help you company to break into the academic market more quickly, your sales will be simpler and overall the process will cost you less.
What are the specific advantages of having a Chest Agreement?
You will have just one point of contact for licence negotiation rather than separate ones at over 700 universities and colleges in the UK and Ireland | Our legal experts will draw up the contract and a licence with appropriate terms and conditions | Chest will promote your Agreement on the website, in weekly e-newsletters which are delivered directly to decision makers at all institutions, and at events that target the academic community | We will keep you up to date about new and changing product and licensing requirements, gleaned from experts in the academic sector, at focus groups and other community meetings | We provide a Licence Help Desk which supports all users of the Chest Service.
Specific advice for Software Suppliers
If you are a supplier of software that is suitable to be used in an academic environment and would like to know more about having a Chest Agreement then contact Howard Moody, our Business Development Manager, or our Help Desk to find out more.
Specific advice for publishers of online resources
If you are a publisher of online journals, eBooks or databases then a Chest Agreement will offer you a great way to break into the academic market in the UK and Ireland. We have lots of experience and knowledge of the licensing needs in this market and can offer advice on the how to price your product. In the first instance contact our Business Development Manager Nikki Rowe or our Help Desk firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terms and conditions, and other legal information relating to Chest products and services:
Where do I find Chest standard licences?
Click >Legal Information at the foot of the website.
What about OJEU compliance?
OJEU competitions are not required for Chest Agreement products/resources. Find out why...read our article >Legal Information>OJEU Compliance
What is it and where do I find the 'User Acknowledgement of Third Party Rights Form'?
All establishments that license software and online resources under Eduserv negotiated Chest Agreements must use its best endeavours to ensure that their organisation and their users comply with the relevant licence terms and conditions. You may download, re-brand and distribute the form to your users in any way you choose. Follow the link at the foot of the page >Legal Information>User Acknowledgement of Third Party Rights Form.
What does 'Educational Purpose' mean?
Educational Purposes means education, teaching, distance learning, private study, personal development, academic research and, unless stated otherwise on the website, the administration and management of the Licensee’s educational and research operations. The Licensee, but not any user, may receive payment or funding from students or third parties for activities using the Software provided that all such payments and funding are applied to the cost of running the normal educational and research operations of the Licensee. The results of research or services funded by third parties must be published in the same way that the Licensee would publish the results of research not funded by third parties. Educational Purposes do not include funded research or consultancy services where the results of such research or services would be retained by a third party.
Chest Representatives, often known as Site Contacts, provide a vital link between Eduserv and their university, college or organisation. They are the first people to learn about new Chest Agreements. Their feedback is invaluable ensuring that we negotiate for the right products and that the licence terms and conditions meet their organisation's requirements. They make sure that the right people know which agreements are available and of new ones in the pipeline. There are two types of Contact at each institution – software and library specialists. More than one person can be nominated for each role.
What is a Software Contact?
This is a person who has a good understanding of software licensing and knowledge of the software licensed by their institution. A Software Contact usually has a senior role in IT Services.
What is an Online Resource (Data) Contact?
Typically this person is a senior librarian with a responsibility for acquiring online library resources and with a good understanding of licensing will take this role.
What do Site Reps do?
Site Reps play a very important role involving many different activities which contribute to the success of the Chest service such as: supporting the decision for their organisation to subscribe to Chest Agreements | disseminating information to your colleagues | arranging for relevant staff to review proposals for new and renewing Chest Agreements | organising to take part in trials and sending feedback to Chest | representing your organisation at Focus Group meetings or arranging for someone else to attend | Site Reps often take responsibility for signing and administering Chest licences | Along with Agreement Administrators the Software and/or Online Resource Contact is an important point of contact if we have news or concerns about your licences | Site Reps are also responsible for managing registered users of the Chest service at their organisation.
How do I find out who the Chest Reps are at my organisation?
You can contact Chest Help and ask or if you have registered for an account on the Chest website then you should be able to see the names of the people who represent your organisation listed in the Admin Section.
How do I register as a Site Rep for my organisation?
Either ask one of your existing Site Reps to 'promote' you - they can do this in the 'Manage Users' section under Admin, or if there are no Site reps at you organisation then contact Chest Help
What should I do if I am no longer able to be a Site Rep?
Please try to find one of your colleagues who would like to become a Site Rep and promote them in the Manage Users section under Admin. If you cannot find someone then please contact Chest Help - we can edit or remove your details.
Clarification of some of the terms/phrases used in relation to Chest Agreements
What is a Chest Agreement?
A Chest Agreement is a contract that has been negotiated between Chest and a supplier. The short form, agreement, is sometimes used so long as it’s in lowercase, there is no ambiguity, and there is a preceding long-form version in the same paragraph.
Chest is renewing an agreement with a supplier. The term ‘renewal’ should only to be used in reference to the contract between Chest and the supplier, not to a licence.
Chest has agreed an amendment to an agreement with the supplier to include other products or accommodate some other change. Changes to a customer’s licence, are termed a ‘Licence Amendment’.
A current Agreement is as is being extended beyond the original end date and sites may sign up to a Licence Extension. In some cases, new sites may join.
Annual payment, Annual instalment or similar term
Payments customers make on an annual basis for their Licence.
Licence, or Chest Licence
The agreement between the Supplier and the Licensee covering duration, prices and what can be accessed.
A new licence for a new or renewed Agreement. This may be a new agreement or one Chest has renewed with the suppliers. Whether or not a site participated in an Agreement that has been renewed, a site begins a ‘New Licence’.
Extending a current Licence (e.g. from 3 years to 5) either under the terms of an existing Licence or where an ‘Agreement Extension’ has made such possible.
What does perpetual purchase or perpetual licence mean?
If you buy something in perpetuity your organisation retains the rights to access resources after any contractual arrangement has elapsed under the original terms and conditions. To continue to use the service in the case of online resources you might have to pay an access fee, or with software, it is unsupported unless you pay a maintenance fee. You can search for products that can be bought in perpetuity by selecting the Perpetual Licence Category on the Agreements page.
What does FTE stand for?
When talking about students, FTE means “full-time equivalent”. If an institution has 10,000 student FTE it may have 8,000 full-time students and 4,000 half-time students. In the case of staff, FTE compares an individual's workload to a standard full-time, full-year workload. The student or staff FTE numbers reported by the institution to their regulatory body, are quite often used to set band pricing for Chest licences.
The following notes summarise the challenges there can be in providing access to resources to students and staff at partner organisations. There are likely to be additional licence fees incurred in providing such access (not just through Chest) and in some cases your partner(s) may have to take out their own licence.
Does the Publisher have restricted rights?
The publisher may not be entitled to sell in the partner territory – his own rights might preclude the territory or he may have exclusively assigned the territory to an agent. Equally, to avoid reputational damage, a publisher may not wish to sell into a territory where he does not have an adequate support organisation.
Does the Publisher’s sales organisation prevent them from allowing access?
The way a publisher is organised may mean it’s difficult for the UK licence to be extended to the partner territory. For example the salesman (or agent) in the partner territory may feel the UK salesman is stealing his commission. These issues can usually be avoided by escalating them to the right level in the publisher’s organisation.
The nature of a licence
It’s important to remember that with any licence you don’t own anything, so just because it’s physically possible to do something it doesn’t mean you are entitled to do it. The resource remains owned by the publisher, he grants you the right to access and use his property (his resource). As the owner, he is at liberty to place whatever restrictions he chooses on you.
Does the Licence have boundaries?
A licence is a right to use something or to do something. The right is granted to a specified individual or entity. So a driving licence allows the specific driver (and only the specified driver) to use the roads, a television licence allows broadcasts to be received at the specified property and only that property. The right does not automatically extended to other entities or people just because they are related. Your spouse needs their own driver’s licence. If you own adjacent houses, you need a TV licence for each of them. In the same way a publisher’s licence is granted to the university only and not all of its partners and associates. Apart from a few flat fee licences, Chest licences are granted to a number users – this may be the number of users in absolute terms or according to some or other banding or scaling. It is logical and fair that if the number of users is exceeded, e.g. because the students from an overseas partners were added, then an extra fee should be due.
Your university chooses to be involved with the overseas partner for financial reasons. There is no reason why the publisher, a separate entity with its own financial considerations, should be expected to subsidise the university’s investment by making the publisher’s property (the resource) available to more students without charge.
Is there a Contractual hierarchy?
A publisher’s relationship/transaction with you is defined by the terms of the licence you have agreed with him and not by the plans and policies of the government or your university. The licence is a private agreement between two parties. The government is not a party to the licence, so government policy does not automatically change the licence. The university is a party to the agreement but any change to a private agreement requires the consent of both parties, so the university cannot insist that a licence is extended to its overseas partner(s).
Do Chest Agreements offer licence extensions to allow access to students and staff at partner organisations?
Some Chest Agreements include an Option for Extended Educational Purposes at additional cost with the same licence terms and conditions as Chest Standard Online Resource Licence. These are listed on the Product and Pricing tab.
Join our mailing list for the latest news, event information and resources