Beta SHERPA/FACT Applications Programmer’s Interface Announced

SHERPA Services is pleased to announce the launch of a beta version of an application programmers’ interface (API) for SHERPA/FACT, the funders and authors compliance tool. This is available for beta testing during November 2013.

Potential Applications

SHERPA/FACT is a tool that helps authors check if a journal’s open access policies complies with the requirements of the open access policies of the research funders Research Councils UK (RCUK) and Wellcome Trust. The data on journal policies is drawn from SHERPA/RoMEO and the funders’ policies from SHERPA/JULIET. Matching the two sets of policies is quite a complex process.

The FACT website ( is designed for general use. However, some users may wish to customise SHERPA/FACT for their institutions, which can be achieved using the FACT API. For instance, the API would enable them to:

  • Embed FACT within their own branded web pages
  • Link to local information on open access funds, guides, policies, and advisors
  • Reformat the FACT data, for example to highlight local policies and preferences

The FACT API could also be used for statistical studies, such as checking the potential compliance of lists of journals or articles. E.g. see:, slides 20 to 23.

Main Features

Having specified the required funder(s), the API can be queried by journal titles or ISSNs.

The API returns FACT data for Gold (Paid OA), Green (self-archiving) and Overall compliance. There is a choice of XML (default), JSON, and PHP array output formats. In general, all computable information is returned as arguments and displayable information is returned as data. E.g.

<goldcompliance goldcompliancecode="yes" goldcompliancereport="paidoa">You can publish your article compliantly with open access</goldcompliance>

See: for more information and examples.

Beta Testing Invitation

We invite developers and researchers to participate in the beta testing of the FACT API. You need to register for a free SHERPA/RoMEO API Key, which you can do at:

There is a short presentation on how to register and how to use the API key at:


Testers will be able to send us comments and report issues at any time using the FACT Feedback form. They will, however, also be asked to complete a questionnaire at the end of the testing period. All feedback will help towards getting the API ready for production release.

Production Version

We are currently investigating sustainability options for the development and support of the FACT service, including the API. We therefore do not have a date for releasing the production version. Please note that we may need to charge a subscription for use of the API production version.

We would be happy to extend SHERPA/FACT and its API to cover further research funders anywhere in the world. Interested funding bodies are invited to contact us.

Contact Details

Peter Millington – – Technical queries

Azhar Hussain – – SHERPA/FACT service queries

SHERPA/RoMEO API – Manual, REST Requests, and Wish List

We have been clearing the decks in readiness for the next upgrade to the SHERPA/RoMEO API, which will be a major redevelopment.

Technical Manual

The main technical manual has been consolidated to incorporate all the addenda from recent enhancements to the API, and has been generally reviewed and updated. The new manual is available at:

One new thing that developers may find particularly useful is a handy one page alphabetical list of all the available query and output parameters.

REST Requests

Simple API queries for journal ISSN or RoMEO Publisher ID can now be made using true REST URLs.

Journal ISSN queries use REST URLs such as:

e.g. – to search for ISSN 0003-5491

Queries for RoMEO Publisher IDs use REST URLs such as:

e.g. – to search for RoMEO ID No.55 – Oxford University Press

See the manual for more detailed information.

Get your applications ready for API V.3

The next upgrade to the RoMEO API will be radically different to the current and previous versions, providing new query options and totally new output schemas. More information will be available shortly. Meanwhile, we strongly recommend that you ensure that your applications are using the latest version of the API – V.2.9. It is normally very simple to upgrade from earlier versions – usually just a question changing root URL. e.g changing the …/api24.php?… to …/api29.php?…

We also strongly recommend that you register for an API Key, if you have not already done so. Access controls will soon be implemented for all versions of the API, which means that unregistered users will be limited to 500 requests per day.

Wish List

We compiled a users’ wish list for the API in 2010. We have just reviewed this and are pleased to note that several important wishes have since been fulfilled. See:

As we a enter a new phase of development, we would be grateful if users could revisit the wish list and let us know if there is anything they would like to add or update.