Warnings, Caveats and Weasel Words

Most of the experiments linked to here are running on R&D equipment in a non-production environment. They may disappear without warning and/or perform erratically. If one of them isn’t working for some reason, come back later and try again.

FundRef Reconciliation Service

 3 minute read.

Note: This experiment has been retired. This description has been kept for reference, but many of the links and/or services that appear below no longer work.


The FundRef Reconciliation Service is designed to help publishers (or anybody) more easily clean-up their funder data and map it to the FundRef Registry. It is built on Open Refine and FundRef Metadata Search.

If you are impatient and want to see it working, then skip to the short 15-minute video tutorial.

Or read on…


Some of our members have been collecting data related to the funding of publications for years. Ideally, we would like them to submit funder metadata for their backfiles into the FundRef system. However, we realize that there are at least two major barriers to doing this:

  1. Publisher’s funder data may not have used a controlled vocabulary and may be inconsistent (e.g. they list “NASA” under both “NASA” and “National Aeronautics and Space Administration”)
  2. Publishers have no easy way to map their existing, home-grown funder identifiers to the new standard FundRef identifiers.


We have created the FundRef Reconciliation Service to work with The Open Refine desktop application. The Open Refine application provides a number of powerful tools that allow one to clean-up messy metadata and the FundRef reconciliation Service will allow one to take that cleaned-up data and semi-automatically map it to the latest version of the FundRef registry.

Basically, you start with a tab-delimited text file which includes every funder name you have recorded along with whatever internal identifier you use for that funder. For example:

Once you load that text file into Open Refine and process it, you will be left with a file that looks like this:

publisher_id name fundref_funder_id
1000001 University Of Oxford http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000769
1000002 University Of Oxford http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000769
1000003 Wellcome Trust http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100004440
1000004 U.S. Department of Transportation http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000140
1000005 National Aeronautics and Space Administration http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000104
1000006 National Institutes of Health http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000002
1000007 U.S. Department of Transportation http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000140
1000008 U.S. Department of Transportation http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000140
1000009 National Aeronautics and Space Administration http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000104
1000010 Wellcome Trust http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100004440
1000011 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000879
1000012 National Institutes of Health http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000002
1000013 All Souls College, University of Oxford http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000524
1000014 Rinky Dink Foundation

You can then use this latter file to convert all of your internal funder names and identifiers into FundRef-compatible names and identifiers.

You can see a complete demo of how the system works by watching this 15-minute video tutorial. The Open Refine website also has some more general tutorials on using the tool that you may find helpful.

Once you have watched the video, you can practice with the tool yourself. Simply download the Open Refine application (runs of OSX, Windows and Linux) and our short, sample file of publisher funder data. Two key pieces of information you may may not want to re-type are:

The URL for the FundRef Reconciliation Service


The “Refine Expression Language” command for creating a new column of FundRef Funder Identifiers:


Obviously, we welcome your feedback. Send comments/questions/gripes to:


Last modified: 2017-02-10.