The University of Sheffield’s online licensing portal Frequently Asked Questions


I have forgotten my password!
Go to this page, enter the working organisational email address you used to register with The University of Sheffield’s online licensing portal and you will be sent a new password.

I am having problems with my organisational email account but need to log in to The University of Sheffield’s online licensing portal. What should I do?
Use the Contact us form for technical support.

About The University of Sheffield’s online licensing portal

What is it?
An electronic repository offering online licensing of software and tangible materials developed at University of Sheffield via one accessible platform.

I am a scientist. Can I promote my products on the online licensing portal?
If you are a scientist at University of Sheffield, use the Contact us form to approach us about including your product.

We do not promote products originating from non-University of Sheffield scientists unless your institution/company has an arrangement with us. Please enquire within your own institution/company first.

Setting up an account

What do I need to start using The University of Sheffield’s online licensing portal?
To set up your account and expedite your first order, you will require:

  • A working academic/institution address
  • Full name and email address of an authorised representative from your institution/company who can approve material transfer/licence agreements on your behalf (note this is necessary for all tangible material requests including those without a fee attached).
  • Full name and email address of the fee-payer (this may be yourself, or personnel from an Accounts Department attached to your company/institution)

I have an account because I am an Authorised Representative of my institution/company. Do I need to open a new account if I wish to request products myself on the online licensing portal?
No, you can use your existing account.

Several scientists in my department use the licensing portal to order products. Can I use their account to make a one-off order?
No. For reasons of privacy and security, each order must be submitted through an individual’s account.

Placing an order

Who is the Authorised Representative of my company/institution?
Your authorised representative must be attached to your organisation and must be invested with the legal authority to approve products on behalf of your organisation. In case of academic institutions, this is normally someone from your Research Services / Technology Transfer Office.

I have checked out. What happens next?
Every request requires authorisation and process time varies according to the product. Software downloads are usually very quick, for example, whereas tangible materials require a longer process and may take around a week. You will be informed of the process of your order by email.

Where approval from the Authorised Representative of your institution / company is required, we will inform you when we send the approval request to your Authorised Representative. If you have not received an email from The University of Sheffield’s online licensing portal within a week thereafter, you are advised to contact your Authorised Representative.

Where an order is approved by all parties (we will inform you by email upon receipt of all approvals) and a payment is required, we will contact you with payment instructions. Once the payment has reached us and has cleared, for software requests you will be able to download the software from the website; and for tangible materials, we will put you in touch with the providing scientist or the person responsible for shipping of materials.

Is it possible to place an order by phone?
No. All orders must be made online, through a registered The University of Sheffield’s online licensing portal account.

I have an online licensing portal account. Can I place an order over the phone?
We are sorry, but for reasons of security, all orders must go through the online system.

I would like to re-order a product. Can I do this over the phone?
All orders must be submitted through the online system.

I am a scientist but am undertaking work for a commercial company. Can I use the  licensing portal for orders relating to that work?
Yes. However, be sure to check that the licence you select is appropriate for a commercial rather than academic purpose.

Why can’t I get my order immediately?
All orders require a material transfer/licence agreement between all the parties involved in supplying and receiving a product under terms of a licence. This cannot happen instantaneously but is a controlled process under The University of Sheffield’s online licensing portal and should not take longer than a week in ordinary circumstances.

Making changes to my order or account details

My email address has changed and now I no longer have access to the email address with which my account was registered. 
Please use the Contact us form providing your original details and a new email address.

I have changed institutions since setting up my account. Can I transfer my account to my new institution?
Yes. Log in and click on My Account >Account Settings and make any necessary changes. Note that a change of institution will require email confirmation. 

Can I change the Authorised Representative of my company/institution for a submitted order?
Unfortunately, due to the number of people involved in the approval process, you cannot change the Authorised Representative for an existing order. Please contact us to cancel the order and submit a new order with correct details.

How can I change the delivery address on my order?
Click on My Account > Address Settings

I have requested payment but need to change the details. Can I do this?
Yes. Click on My Account > My materials request and re-enter your request details. Your previous request will be made void. Any previous requests made for this order will still be listed below for your reference.

I want to cancel my order. What do I do?
Please use the Contact us form to cancel an order.

My order

What should I do if I wish to use the requested product for other purposes in future?
You must submit a new order via The University of Sheffield’s online licensing portal to receive authorisation for the new use in accordance with the licence.

Can I contact the supplying scientist directly?
This is not possible via the online licensing portal during the requesting process. Please use the Contact us form for any specific queries. Once your request and the relevant agreement are approved by all parties, we will provide you with the supplying scientist or the shipping contact’s email address.

None of the licensing options that are available for the product I am interested in suit my purpose. What can I do?
Do not place an order at this stage. Please contact us with your specific requirements.

How do I qualify for an academic licence?
You must register with a valid academic or research institution email address in order to qualify for any academic licences offered on the relevant product page. You must use the requested product only for internal non-commercial research purposes at the registered institution.

Can I keep track of my order?
The status of your order is visible in ‘My Account’.

My Account

What is the difference between My Materials Requests and Other Materials Requests in My Account?
My Materials Requests lists products you have requested: all orders in progress and completed.
Other Materials Requests contains orders in which you have an administrative role, for example if you need to approve the request submitted by another scientist from your company/institution, or if you provide the product offered on the online licensing portal.


I have added a licence to my basket. Why can’t I find Checkout? 
Before you can place an order, you need to be registered with The University of Sheffield’s online licensing portal. Select 'Create Account' from the tab bar. The product will be saved in your basket while you set up your account.

I have completed my software order. Where can I download it?
When your request has been approved, a download option will appear under the Files tab in the product page. If you cannot find the option, please contact us for technical support.

The payment request on my order confirmation is higher than I expected.
The amount shown beside a product excludes VAT. However when you order a product, VAT is automatically added.

Do I need to pay VAT?
VAT is applicable to EU, including UK customers. EU customers outside the UK can apply for zero-rated VAT by providing their VAT number (including 2 letter country code) in Step 2 of the checkout process.

How do I pay for the licence?
You can pay online, using a credit card, debit card, or via PayPal. Alternatively, you can pay by cheque or arrange for a bank transfer to be made to University of Sheffield (we refer to this as 'off-line' payment). We will provide you with an invoice with the details you require for making payments once you have accepted the licence terms and conditions. Please do not attempt to make payments without being issued the invoice. 

Please note that for software orders, you will not be able to download the software until payment has reached us and has cleared; and for tangible material orders, we will not release the material until payment has reached us and has cleared. For credit / debit / PayPal payments, this is usually instantaneous.

Can I pay in US Dollars or Euros?
Yes. Please contact us with your licence requirements so that we can generate you an invoice in US Dollars / Euros which will also have details of our USD / Euro bank account for electronic funds transfer. There is a fee for this service. Note that if you are paying using a credit/debit card or PayPal, there is usually no need to request a US Dollar / Euro invoice as you should be able to pay in British Pounds (the credit card networks will manage the currency conversion automatically).

I need a quote against which to raise a Purchase Order (PO) before my institution/company  will authorise payment of the licence fee.
This is not a problem. Please place your order in the usual way and at Step 3 (Select Payment Method) of the payment process, you will be able to download a pro-forma invoice which can be used as a quote on which to raise your PO. Once you have your PO number, if you would like this reflected on the invoice, you can go through the payment process again and fill in the PO number at Step 2. A new pro-forma invoice containing the PO number will be generated and available for download in Step 3. If you need any further assistance, please contact us

I would like the invoice to be addressed to my finance department and not to me.
At Step 2 of the checkout process, add your billing contact's name and address details on the form and they will appear on the invoice instead of your own.

Can I pay with a credit card?
Yes, we accept all major credit cards.

I have a question about billing.
Please use the Contact us form for assistance.


Can I have my order shipped abroad?
Yes. Ensure you have the correct destination submitted in My account > Address settings

Can I have my order shipped to an address which is different to the billing address? 
Yes. Fill out the shipping form during the checkout process or amend it in My account > Address settings

Declined requests

My request for a product has been declined. Why?
There are many reasons why an order may be declined. Common problems include:
Registering an account without a working organisational email address.
Requesting an academic licence without being qualified to do so. 
Nominating representatives who are unable to authorise your request.
If your request has been declined by Authorised Representative of your organisation, you are advised to contact the Authorised Representative with any queries.

My request for a product has been declined. Can I order another product?
Yes. Each order is assessed on a case-by-case basis.