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Blog post 

OA Switchboard research funder pilot successfully completed
Group of 25 research funders and publishers collaborated in experimental project to get ‘hidden’ research funding information out of publications and shared

18 July 2023 by Yvonne Campfens, Executive Director OA Switchboard

In June we successfully concluded the pilot that aimed to get ‘hidden’ research funding information out of publications and shared. This experimental project is also known as the 2023 Next Level Funder Pilot, in which a group of 25 research funders and publishers collaborated to unlock funding information to progress open access (se7 March blog post). The initial results were overwhelming and encouraging! And there is more work to be done to fully capitalise on the results.

The hypothesis of this pilot project was that there is valuable information on research funding, related to research output, ‘hidden’ in the current (eco)system, and that we can get this out and shared with the stakeholders in a systematic way. We applied a search application to identify, analyse and solve potential bottlenecks in data flows. The searches were done in bulk, a number of times, and after each search the results were reviewed by the participants. The results were made available in files (for detailed analysis) and via an easy-to-use dashboard with visualisations and aggregated results. Based on the funders' feedback we improved the algorithm and valid 'hits' were identified and the related publication notification (so-called P1) messages were retrospectively delivered to the relevant research funders. This added up to thousands of additional messages delivered. The quality of the P1-messages also improved as during the pilot eight publishers added the full text 'funder attribution' (as published in the VoR) to the dedicated field in the P1-schema.

202307_funder pilot P1 illustration blog_jpg.jpg

We clearly achieved the goal of delivering more and better P1-messages to research funders. And we also learned where and how to find this information and enrich publishers' P1-messages sent to research funders. Further improving publishers' connectivity is one of the follow-up actions to the pilot.


An additional analysis is underway to compare coverage of OA Switchboard P1-messages and Crossref. Based on the first analysis, there is evidence that there are more metadata available in publishers' systems than currently deposited to Crossref (and vice versa). One of our follow-up actions to the pilot is to explore (technical) options and best practices to get these metadata also into open data sources, so everybody can benefit.

In the spirit of the OA Switchboard being a community-led initiative, the participants also aimed to gain a better understanding of each other's approaches, systems and best practices. There was plenty! More detailed insights gained will be shared on the Resources page on our website soon and the full pilot results will be published in a report which will be posted as a preprint later this Summer.

For more information, please contact:

Yvonne Campfens, Executive Director OA Switchboard

About us:

The OA Switchboard is a mission-driven, community led initiative designed to simplify the sharing of information between stakeholders about open access publications throughout the whole publication journey. It provides a standardised messaging protocol and shared infrastructure that is designed to operate and integrate with all stakeholder systems. It is built by and for the people who use it, and is leveraged with existing PID’s.

In 1.5 minutes (video animation): Learn how OA Switchboard is a safe space for publication metadata

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