IEEE Academic Consortium

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IEEE Academic Consortium

The IEEE and its sales agent, Content Online Ltd, have launched a proposal to form an English, Welsh and Northern Irish academic consortium for the IEEE's flagship product - IEEE / IET Electronic Library (IEL).

The proposal has been developed in conjunction with Prof. Roger D. Pollard Emeritus Professor, The University of Leeds (formally Dean of Engineering) and 2010 IEEE Vice-President, Technical Activities. Prof. Pollard has written to Universities and Colleges on this subject. View a copy of Prof. Pollard's letter.

IEL contains the following, in many cases back to the first issue, over 2.9 million articles:

  • IEEE Conference Papers
  • IET Conference Papers
  • IEEE Journals, Transactions & Magazines
  • IET Journals, Transactions & Magazines
  • IEEE Active and Archived Standards

There are already a large number of universities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland subscribing to IEL, however, there are many other universities and colleges that don't but would like to take an IEL subscription.

We are proposing to form an English, Welsh and Northern Irish consortium and have held a series of briefings in April, and attended by subject librarians, acquisitions managers and electronic resource managers, to find out more about the consortium proposal. View a copy of the presentation's slides.

Universities will now have received a letter and commitment form (including pricing detail), along with a copy of the IEEE's licence. If you would like to take part in the consortium, the deadline for Content Online Ltd to accept completed commitment forms is the 30th September 2011.

If you would like to request a copy of your university's letter/commitment form please contact us.

View the progress of the consortium so far.

View a copy of the revised IEEE Licence Agreement.

View a copy of the revised IEEE Licence Agreement (with highlighted changes).

View a copy of the IEEE Addendum for the Consortium.

View a copy of the IEL Brochure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can our university have a free trial?

Yes, of course the university can have a free trial. To request a trial please contact Julia Stockdale on 07725 349 885 or via email at

We typically set free trials up using IP authentication and will need the IP range for the university. Alternatively we can set up the trial through Username/Password login if this is prefered.

What content does each pricing option give access to?

All pricing options in the commitment form provides access to the IEEE / IET Electronic Library (IEL) which includes full-text access to all the IEEE's Journals, Conference Proceedings and Standards as well as the IET's Journals and Conference Proceedings.

The only difference will be that if a university ticks any box above the lowest price option, their subscription (under the consortium) will also include access to the IBM Journal of Research and Development and the former IBM Systems Journal.

Will access be given to all campuses?

A subscription to IEL will provide access to all UK-based campuses that an individual university has under the licence.

Does IEL support Athens/Shibboleth authentication?

Yes, IEL can be authenticated through Athens and/or Shibboleth as well as via IP.

What content does IEL contain?

IEL contains:

- Over 150 annual IEEE Journal, Transaction and Magazine titles
- Over 900 annual IEEE Conference Proceeding titles
- Over 2,100 IEEE Standards documents
- Over 25 annual IET Journal and Magazine titles
- Over 20 annual IET Conference and Seminar Digest titles

IEL provides access to a complete backfile to 1988 with archival content to volume 1, issue 1 for many titles - as far back as 1893. 

Does the university need to maintain existing print subscriptions to IEEE Journals in order to benefit from this offer?

No, if a university has active subscriptions to any of the IEEE's Individual titles in print format, it will not be a requirement for the university to maintain these subscriptions going forward.

Will the 3.5% price cap be applied to other IEEE subscriptions outside the consortium?

No, the 3.5% price cap will only be applied to IEL subscriptions offered under the consortium. If the consortium isn't formed, prices for all IEEE subscription packages will be 5%.

Will the university be invoiced for the full 3 years up front?

No, we will be invoicing for the annual amount each year. We will write to each university in good time before we issue invoices.

We have concerns over clause 3.b.5 relating to posting articles or eBooks in PDF format for the purposes of electronic course reserves on Licensee's secure website.

We have asked the IEEE to review this clause and this has now been revised (removing reference to notifying IEEE prior to posting the Articles or eBooks) and replaced with the following:

3.b.5. Licensee and Authorized Users may save a reasonable amount of Articles or eBooks chapters, in PDF format or links, to electronic media for personal or educational use as long as it does not contradict with the restrictions set forth under Section 3.c. Upon completion of the educational project, Authorized Users will make reasonable efforts to delete or remove all copies of Articles or eBooks in any medium that are in its possession or control.

Clause 3.d. refers to 'substantial increase in number of authorized users' being subject to additional fee. - Please can you define what is meant by 'substantial' increases that would then trigger additional fees please?

Licensee acknowledges that the License Fee has been assessed based upon the number of Authorized Users existing as of the Service Date. In the event that the number of Authorized Users substantially increases due to Licensee’s acquisition of or merger with another company or organization or any other cause, including new physical campuses, Licensee shall promptly give notice of such increase to IEEE. Licensee agrees that such increase in the number of Authorized Users may be subject to additional license fee. 

Policy: IEEE needs to include this clause in the event that the number of Authorized Users becomes significantly larger. It only applies if there are a large amount of new users who want to gain access and did not exist prior to the license agreement. For example a university wants to add access to a brand new campus that didn't exist prior to the license agreement.

Clause 3.e. relating to Audit, refers to 'accurate and complete' usage records. Can you clarify what the university is expected to maintain and make available for inspection as required please?

3.e. Audit. Licensee shall maintain accurate and complete records concerning its use of the Licensed Products (“Records”), including but not limited those concerning server and other access logs, information concerning their qualifications to be Authorized Users, IP addresses used, proxy servers used, and locations of Authorized Sites, for at least one (1) year following the end of the calendar year to which they pertain. It is understood that IP addresses do change over time and IEEE requests that the client make best reasonable efforts to retain records of IP addresses or related authentication data for a rolling period of twelve (12) months. In instances where there is sustained misuse of the licensed product in which the Licensee has not made reasonable efforts to cure within thirty (30) days, Licensee will provide such records to IEEE for inspection to verify compliance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement; provided, however, that such inspection shall be conducted at IEEE’s expense and not more frequently than once per each consecutive twelve-month period. IEEE shall be entitled to pursue any other legal and equitable remedies it may have on account of Licensee’s breach of this Agreement.

Policy: IEEE may at its own expense maintain reports to verify compliance with a customer's use of IEEE's Licensed Products and disclose instances of misuse. For example if we discover robotic activity or systematic downloading we can inspect a customer's access logs to determine the cause. IEEE works in conjunction with the customer to decrease the instances of misuse that is currently found from these audits. Such records include, but are not limited to, those concerning server and other access logs, identities of Authorized Users and information concerning their qualifications to be Authorized Users, IP addresses used, proxy servers used, and locations of Authorized Sites. In short, we expect Licensees to retain records that they normally maintain concerning access to information by way of their IT infrastructure.

In Schedule B of the Licence, it refers to 'additional security procedures' - is it possible to give further details about what might be required and when please?

In Schedule B of the licence - Licensee Responsibilities - Policy, it states “Licensee shall cooperate with IEEE in the implementation of additional security procedures reasonably requested by IEEE.”.

IEEE will only request the implementation of additional security procedures in the event of a breach that left the security system of the Licensee compromised. For example, there is an instance of robotic downloading. If this breach is harmful to both the Licensee and IEEE, IEEE will work with the Licensee to apply new or additional security procedures, mutually agreed upon by both parties, to prevent such breaches in the future. To expand on the example, if there is a situation where someone is implementing some form of robotic downloading of Articles, IEEE would work with the institution to create specific security measures that would prevent future instances of robotic or systematic downloading. We do not have a standard set of procedures to reference, as each situation would be evaluated individually.

What are other universities view of IEEE / IET Electronic Library and the IEEE Academic Consortium?

Read testimonials from universities who are both existing subscribers to IEL and those who aren't but have sent their commitment form back wishing to join the IEEE academic consortium.

As you're aware the success of this consortium and bringing deeper discounts to universities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is dependant upon bringing IEL to more subscribers. We need your help to do this, please tweet, Facebook and/or Digg this message by using the following links:



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