We collect and share metadata about published research—such as Funder IDs, ORCID iDs, licenses, clinical trials, and retractions—all of which helps funders measure reach and return.
Our members register DOIs and bibliographic metadata with us for journal articles, preprints, books, peer reviews, and more. As part of that activity they can also include information on who funded the research. Funder names and identifiers are taken from our funder registry so that supporting organizations can be correctly and consistently identified and acknowledged.
We make this information available via a funder search interface and via our public REST API so that it can be seamlessly integrated into systems downstream. Crossref metadata is the bedrock for many thousands of platforms and services from search and discovery to research and assessment tools.
Watch the video below to find out more:
As the video shows, we take this largely unstructured grant data, and help the research community match products and people to funding. In turn, funders use this metadata to track the impacts of their investment, and understand similar investments made by other funders.
Whilst the scholarly community has adopted standard persistent identifiers (PIDs)—for people (e.g. ORCID), content (e.g. DOIs, PMIDs), and soon organizations (The OI Project) including funders (Open Funder Registry)—the record of the award is not captured in a consistent way across funders worldwide. And they are not easily linked up with the literature or the researchers or the institutions. We think this system can work even more smoothly and accurately if we harmonized grant identifiers.
The first rule of grant identifiers is that they include awards, use of facilities, sponsorship, and any form of support provided to a research group. If funders assigned DOIs to grants, funders with different information systems can create an open and interoperable grant identifier system for minimal cost. Together with DataCite and ORCID we are working with our Funder Advisory Group to test such a system on a global scale. Part of that work is to agree on a sustainable business model along the lines of our current approach for content registration, and to build a widget that will allow manuscript tracking and measurement systems to integrate grant identifiers.
With 17549 funding organizations in the Open Funder Registry, we need to find a way for all of them—small and large, private and government—to register their grants, whilst making it easy for researchers to include this information in their submissions to publishers and data repositories.
Robert Kiley and Nina Frentrop of Wellcome explain in their guest blog post the benefits of an open and global grant identifier system:
Currently, researchers are typically asked to manually disclose what outputs have arisen from their funding. In the future, such disclosures would be fully automated. We are already seeing how publishers—who collect ORCIDs through their manuscript submission system—automatically update the author’s ORCID record with details of new publications. If a global ID system for grants was developed, publishers and repositories could also require these to be disclosed on submission, and this data could then programmatically be passed to researcher assessment platforms, like ResearchFish.
If each of the 17549 funders in the funder registry were to adopt such a system and expose their grant metadata in a consistent, machine-readable way, it would facilitate the development of applications to help funders get a greatly enhanced picture of the global funding landscape, which in turn would inform strategic planning and resource allocation.