In addition to knowing who did the research and wrote it up, It’s also important to know who funded the research, as they are also contributors.
This information is found int he acknowledgements of almost all papers, but that can be quite buried in full text, and isn’t particularly easy to mine or search on across publications. So for the past two years we have been asking publishers to take those funding acknowledgements, tidy them up a bit, and deposit them as Crossref metadata.
We have developed a list of over 12,000 international funding bodies and we ask publishers to match the funders in the acknowledgements to their canonical name in the registry. Or they ask authors to pick those funders from the list when they submit papers. Once the funder names are standardised they are deposited, with their unique funder ID and any associated grant numbers, and the DOI, the funder and the grant numbers are now all tied together in the metadata
And this gives us something that’s not been available until now - a cross-publisher view of publications that have resulted from grants from individual funders. You can come along to our own funding data search at this address, enter a funder name and see all of the publications that cite that funder. Clearly this is a huge benefit to the funders themselves, particularly those who who have open access mandates and want to be able to check that authors are complying.
But it also allows us to start seeing trends - by searching on an ISSN in Crossref metadata search you can see all of the articles for a particular journal, and then filter by funder - and this is showing funders in order of occurrences, so the biggest funder of research appearing in this journal is the NIH, followed by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
And funders can export this information for their own internal reports…
And anyone can query our api for it in all kinds of permutations. So we’ve moved from free-form acknowledgements in the full text of each article to a much bigger picture - much more transparency, and all by depositing a bit more metadata.
This shows where it all fits together in the funding life cycle, with Crossref reporting back to funders, but also making the metadata available to other services. CHORUS, for example, is powered by the funding data in the Crossref database via our API. CHORUS is a publisher and funder collaboration that disfiguring out how US federal agency mandates for public access can best be met by publishers.
And just to add in a few numbers - there are now over 13,000 international funders in the open funder registry, and nearly 1.3m DOIs that have funding data - that’s still only a fraction of the 78 million DOIs we have in total, so if your organisation isn’t depositing funding data please do consider starting!