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Decision tool - users at Partner Organisations

Jisc Collections has developed a Decision Tool following consultation with representatives from the library and publishing community and endorsed at the July 2012 meeting of the Jisc Collections Content Strategy Group.  The tool is designed to help libraries gather all the relevant information that will help them decide how to licence students (and ideally staff supporting these students) located in a partner organisation in the UK or abroad.  This information can then be used in discussions with publishers and providers of content.

The institution needs to consider whether these students/users should be:

a)  classified as part of the main licenced entity and therefore included as part of the main institution's licence OR

b)  classified as a “Legitimate Partner” of the licenced entity and therefore “added on” to the main institution’s licence (with additional charges if relevant)

OR whether, on balance, it is more reasonable for them to be:

c)  classified as a separate entity and treated as a separate institution for licensing purposes.

The Decision Tool comprises two parts:

  • a document outlining how the tool works to reach consistent decisions, along with information for librarians and publishers
  • a Chart for completion by the institution and which includes worked examples based on real scenarios

The tool will be updated from time to time based on feedback received and discussed between librarians, publishers and Jisc Collections.  

Can these new users be included in your main Jisc Collections licence?

Step 1 of the tool relates to understanding whether these new users located elsewhere can be considered your own students and included in your Licence Agreement in the same way as students already licensed in your institutional agreement.

What you need to be able to show a publisher is the validity of a "current student".  If you can answer "Yes" to all questions in Step 1 of the Decision Tool, then it is fair to consider them as your students and, unless there are many students involved in one location, there is a strong case that should be acknowledged by the publisher that these students should be included in your agreement with no further fee involved.  This is on the basis that the students are authenticated to access your resources and that the Authorised User Definition in the Licence agreed with the Publisher does not limited access to students in the UK.

For any other users you classify as students you want to include in your agreement, you will need to work through Step 2 and perhaps Step 3 of the Decision Tool.  This will help you understand the scale of this student body, where it is located and whether any funding coming into your institution already supports these students.

Once you have collected this additional information you will be able to discuss with the various publishers the possible need to pay an "Additional Authorised User" fee to include these users.

Helping with the Licensing

Along with the Decision Tool, Jisc Collections has identified 4 additional Definitions and a new Partner Fees Schedule.  In the Institutional Licence the clauses are as shown below. 

"Additional Authorised Users"    means individuals who qualify as authorised users and can perform the same activities as Authorised Users under this Licence (subject to the payment of the Partner Fee) but for monetary purposes are not included in the Licence Fee. Additional Authorised Users are users at a Partner Organisation for which the Institution has agreed with the Publisher to pay the Partner Fee. 

"Partner Fee"        means the fee payable by the Institution for access and use of the Licensed Material by Additional Authorised Users at a Partner Organisation where applicable. The Partner Fee may be paid by the Institution to the Publisher at any time during the term of this Licence upon receipt of the Partner Fee Quotation.

"Partner Fee Quotation"    means the quotation of the Partner Fee, calculated in accordance with Schedule 4, provided by the Publisher directly to the Institution at the request of the Institution to include Additional Authorised Users from Partner Organisations under this Licence.

"Partner Organisation"    means the organisation(s) for which the Institution has agreed with the Publisher to pay the Partner Fee(s).

Partner Fees Schedule:

Jisc Collections aims to negotiate a Partner Fees Schedule based on additional FTE ranges with each publisher when we renew the current agreement. 

The proposed Fees Schedule from October 2015 is shown below.  

Please note this is a point of negotiation with publishers and you may prefer to negotiate your own price for additional authorised users based on outcomes found from completing the Decision Tool.

Number of FTE in Partner Organisation requiring access Partner Fee(s) per head
>2000 FTE a separate licence applies

The partner fees in the Schedule as agreed with a Publisher are optional, and an institution is not automatically agreeing to them by signing the licence.  Where a fees schedule appears, it means that should the institution wish to include additional users, a fees structure has been agreed already with the publisher.  Please check our catalogue and licences to see if we have agreed the fees schedule with a publisher.

Please note use of the Decision Tool is not obligatory except where a Publisher has required its use as part of the offer terms in the agreement for including additional authorised users, and institutions (and publishers) are free to negotiate access for additional users and any additional fees as relevant (see below).  Currently the tool particularly relates to the HE sector and its partner organisations and we shall review possibilities further in consideration of the FE sector.

Please also note that a Partner Fee may not actually apply for the additional users concerned.  This will be a matter of agreement between the Institution and the Publisher; the Decision Tool is designed to help assess this by identifying the different types and numbers of users and whether a fee should reasonably be applied at all.


We encourage you to send any questions about understanding and how to use the Decision Tool to the Help Desk.

Details of which publishers have agreed to include the Partner Fee Schedule in the Agreement can be seen in the institution account area under the "Support Documents" tab.  This relates to renewed and new agreements from July 2012. 


If you have completed the Decision Tool and find that your Additional Authorised Users are unlikely to be included in the main institution's licence agreement as current students you should:

(i) Inform your Partner Organisation and relevant colleagues internally about this outcome so they are aware.

(ii) Check on our catalogue to see if the Publisher has agreed to the Additional Authorised Users (AAU) Fees Schedule in the licence agreement OR if not available, how the Publisher deals with Additional Authorised Users.  Where no information is provided this means that either the Publisher has not agreed to include the AAU Fees Schedule or that Jisc Collections has not yet renewed a multi-year agreement and hence by default the Publisher has not yet agreed to include the Schedule.

(iii) Where there are fees agreed for additional users you would be able to provide the completed Decision Tool to the Publisher with the Partner details, including the FTE numbers, and request a quotation from the Publisher.  The Publisher will invoice you directly for the additional amount due.

(iv) Where no AAU Fees Schedule has been agreed with the Publisher by Jisc Collections, and you still want to include these users as an add-on to your agreement, you will need to contact the Publisher directly to discuss the outcome(s) of the Decision Tool and see if you can agree a relevant fee to include these users.  The Publisher will then invoice you directly for these users.