This blog post is from Lettie Conrad and Michelle Urberg, cross-posted from the The Scholarly Kitchen.
As sponsors of this project, we at Crossref are excited to see this work shared out.
The scholarly publishing community talks a LOT about metadata and the need for high-quality, interoperable, and machine-readable descriptors of the content we disseminate. However, as we’ve reflected on previously in the Kitchen, despite well-established information standards (e.g., persistent identifiers), our industry lacks a shared framework to measure the value and impact of the metadata we produce.
When Crossref began over 20 years ago, our members were primarily from the United States and Western Europe, but for several years our membership has been more global and diverse, growing to almost 18,000 organizations around the world, representing 148 countries.
As we continue to grow, finding ways to help organizations participate in Crossref is an important part of our mission and approach. Our goal of creating the Research Nexus—a rich and reusable open network of relationships connecting research organizations, people, things, and actions; a scholarly record that the global community can build on forever, for the benefit of society—can only be achieved by ensuring that participation in Crossref is accessible to all.
In August 2022, the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memo (PDF) on ensuring free, immediate, and equitable access to federally funded research (a.k.a. the “Nelson memo”). Crossref is particularly interested in and relevant for the areas of this guidance that cover metadata and persistent identifiers—and the infrastructure and services that make them useful.
Funding bodies worldwide are increasingly involved in research infrastructure for dissemination and discovery.
Preprints have become an important tool for rapidly communicating and iterating on research outputs. There is now a range of preprint servers, some subject-specific, some based on a particular geographical area, and others linked to publishers or individual journals in addition to generalist platforms. In 2016 the Crossref schema started to support preprints and since then the number of metadata records has grown to around 16,000 new preprint DOIs per month.
The Funder Registry and associated funding metadata allows everyone to have transparency into research funding and its outcomes. It’s an open and unique registry of persistent identifiers for grant-giving organizations around the world.
It is good practice for authors to acknowledge support for and contributions to their research in their published articles. This support may be financial, such as a grant or salary award; or practical, such as the use or loan of specialist facilities and equipment. They do this by listing the funding agency and the grant number somewhere in their article - usually the first or last page, or in the acknowledgments or footnotes section. Members contribute by depositing the funding acknowledgements from their publications as part of their standard metadata, together with the unique funder IDs listed in our Funder Registry. The deposit should include funder names, funder IDs, and associated grant numbers.
This means that anyone can make connections, for example, to identify which funders invest in certain fields of research. Funding data is also used by funders to track the publications that result from their grants.
The Crossref Funder Registry is an open registry of grant-giving organization names and identifiers, which you use to find funder IDs and include them as part of your metadata deposits. It is a freely-downloadable RDF file. It is CC0-licensed and available to integrate with your own systems. Funder names from acknowledgements should be matched with the corresponding unique funder ID from the Funder Registry.
You can search funding metadata manually using our funding data search, or programmatically via our REST API. This data not only clarifies the scholarly record, but makes life easier for researchers who may need to comply with requirements to make their published results publicly available.
Watch the introductory Funder Registry animation in your language:
There are many benefits of clear, transparent, and measurable information on who funded research, and where it has been published. The Funder Registry facilitates accurate funding metadata, which in turn enables multiple parties to better understand the research funding landscape:
Readers and researchers can read and assess literature in the context of knowing who funded it;
Research institutions can monitor the published outputs of their researchers;
Publishers can track who is funding their authors, and check if they’re meeting funding mandates;
Service providers can offer integrated time-saving features to their users; and
Funders can easily track the reach and return of the work they have supported.
The Funder Registry is donated by Elsevier, and is updated around every 4-6 weeks with new and updated funders. Existing entries are also reviewed to make sure that they are accurate and up-to-date. We can then make it openly available through our funding data search and our API. If you spot anything that doesn’t look right, please let us know. You can also download a .csv file of the Funder Registry.
Using the Funder Registry, members can find the unique IDs for these funders, standardize this metadata and send it to us.
Obligations and fees for the Funder Registry
The Funder Registry is open to everyone. There are no member fees for depositing funding data. Funder Registry search and our REST API are freely available.
Members must include the Funder ID from the Registry for each funder if it is present in the Registry. If a funder is not in the Registry and does not have an ID, include the name of the funder.
How to participate in the Funder Registry
To access the Funder Registry, you do not need to be a member, but you need to be a member to include funder iDs in your Crossref metadata. Anyone who’s interested can simply enter an organization’s name into the Funder Registry search to view content connected to funding sources. The metadata in the Funder Registry is also openly available via our REST API, and as a downloadable RDF file. Learn more about accessing the Funder Registry.
Depositing metadata (members): collect funder names and grant numbers from your authors through your manuscript tracking system (or extract them from acknowledgements sections) and match them with the corresponding Funder IDs from the Registry. Once this is done, it’s easy to add these three additional pieces of metadata - funder name, funder id, and grant number - as additional metadata in the regular Crossref content registration service. Learn more about how to collect and register funding data.
Whenever you register content with us, make sure you include funder names and grant numbers in the submission:
If you’re depositing XML with Crossref, include your funding data in your XML.
Retrieving metadata: you can view the content that has cited a particular funding source by entering the organization’s name into the Funder Registry search. If you prefer a machine-readable query, use our REST API. If you have questions about how your organization appears in the registry then please get in touch. Learn more about the funder registry and our other services on our funder community page.