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