In the 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. The CHEST team were based at the University of Bath, where the Athens service was also developed in the 1990s. In 1999 the not-for-profit group Eduserv was formed from these services, which now included web development and hosting for the public sector. The licensing operation is now known as Eduserv Licence Negotiation Services and the licence agreements are called Chest Agreements.
What are Eduserv's Licence Negotiation Services?
Eduserv Licence Negotiation Services arranges preferential terms and conditions for all types of commercially available electronic resources (e.g. abstracts, full text, journals, software, courseware) for the education and research communities in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Eduserv manages the licence agreements.
Our policy is simple - Eduserv negotiates for, and manages, agreements that users have asked for. It is driven only by demand and the need to provide better value for money than can be obtained elsewhere.
What are Chest Agreements?
A Chest Agreement is a contract between a supplier of software or online data resources and Eduserv, to licence their product to universities and colleges over a fixed period. It guarantees the licence terms and conditions and pricing. Eduserv administers the agreements.
Eduserv manages over 70 Chest Agreements from 50 different suppliers. Currently all HE institutions, over 75 per cent of FE colleges and a few schools in the UK are participating in at least one agreement.
View all the details of all our software and data agreements.
Who is eligible to subscribe to Chest Agreements?
Your institution or organisation must meet certain criteria to subscribe to Chest Agreements. Higher and Further Education institutions in the UK are automatically eligible and most agreements are open to universities and colleges in Ireland. If your institution or organisation is not in one of these categories then you may still be eligible to participate - please see Do you qualify? or contact our Helpdesk to find out more - it's free and easy to become an Associate member.
What are the advantages of Chest Agreements?
Suppliers save time and money and benefit from Eduserv’s experience of working closely with over 700 universities and colleges in the UK and Ireland. Find out more about becoming a supplier.
Chest Agreements offer universities and colleges value for money and preferential licence terms and conditions. Members of the community work closely with Eduserv to ensure that the agreements continue to meet their needs.
What are wishes?
One of the ways that universities and colleges tell us about the resources that they would like Eduserv to negotiate agreements for is by submitting a wish using our web form. See Request a Product.
What are the savings to community?
We estimate that Chest Agreements save the academic community a collective £38 million in the cost of software and data products per year (figures for September 2012).
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.
Which products are available?
Eduserv negotiates Agreements for a wide range of data and software resources. To see a full list, or to browse by title or category, please view the Agreements page.
For each Agreement there is 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.
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 as described in the ‘Pricing and Ordering’ section.
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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