Open Funder Registry (OFR)

The Open Funder Registry (OFR, formerly FundRef) 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 the OFR. 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.

Open Funder Registry

The Crossref OFR 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 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 Open Funder Registry animation in your language:français;español;português do Brasil;简体中文;日本語;한국어;

العربية;bahasa Indonesia; or English below.

Benefits of the Open Funder Registry

There are many benefits of clear, transparent, and measurable information on who funded research, and where it has been published. The OFR 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.

How the Open Funder Registry works

Authors acknowledge the funding sources for their research in their publications. Using the registry, members can find the unique IDs for these funders, standardize this metadata and send it to us.

The registry is donated by Elsevier, and is updated around every 4-6 weeks with new and updated funder records. 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 latest registry. Using the OFR, members can find the unique IDs for these funders, standardize this metadata to send it to us.

Obligations and fees for the Open Funder Registry

The OFR is open to everyone. There are no fees for members depositing funding data. Open Funder Registry search and our API are also freely available.

Members must include the OFR ID 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 Open Funder Registry

To access the OFR, you do not need to be a member, but you need to be a member to include OFR iDs in your Crossref metadata. Anyone who’s interested can simply enter an organization’s name into the Open Funder Registry search to view content connected to funding sources. The metadata in the registry is also openly available via our API, and as a downloadable RDF file. Learn more about accessing the OFR.

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 are using a content registration helper tool - Crossref XML plugin for OJS or, the web deposit form - simply enter funder names and grant numbers in the relevant fields. For OJS, you must be running at least OJS 3.1.2 and have the Crossref funding plugin enabled.
  • 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 Open 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 OFR and our other services on our funder community page.

Funder Registry infographic

Download the Open Funder Registry factsheet, and explore factsheets for other Crossref services and in different languages.

Learn more about the Open Funder Registry (OFR) in our documentation.

Page owner: Fabienne Michaud   |   Last updated 2020-April-08