FAQ

How do I cite OpenAlex

Are OpenAlex IDs stable?

Yes! The work associated with ID W1234 will keep the ID W1234.
At some point we might merge duplicated works, authors, etc that already have assigned IDs. At that point we will expand the schema to include synonym ID data.

Do you disambiguate authors?

Yes. Using coauthors, references, and other features of the data, we can tell that the same Jane Smith wrote both "Frog behavior" and "Frogs: A retrospective," but it's a different Jane Smith who wrote "Oats before boats: The breakfast customs of 17th-Century Dutch bargemen."

Do you gather author affiliations?

Yes. We automatically gather and normalize author affiliations from both structured and unstructured sources.

Where does your data come from?

See our list of sources here.

How often is the data updated?

For now, the dataset is updated about every two weeks. However, in the future we will probably offer a much faster update cadence (approximately daily) as an optional, paid upgrade. If you're interested in that, drop us a line at [email protected].

Is your data quality better than ____?

Our dataset is still very young, so there's not a lot of systematic research comparing OpenAlex to peer databases like MAG, Scopus, Dimensions, etc. We're currently working on publishing some research like that ourselves. Our initial finding are very encouraging...we believe OpenAlex is already comparable in coverage and accuracy to the more established players--but OpenAlex is 100% open data, built on 100% open-source code. We think that's a really important feature. We will also continue improving the data quality in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead!

How is OpenAlex licensed?

How much does OpenAlex cost?

It's free! The website, the API, and the database snapshot are all available at no charge. As a nonprofit, making this data free and open is part of our mission.

What's your sustainability plan?

Our nonprofit (OurResearch) has a ten-year track record of building sustainable scholarly infrastructure, and a formal commitment to sustainability as part of our adoption of the POSI principles.
We're currently still exploring our options for OpenAlex's sustainability plan. Thanks to a generous grant from Arcadia—a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, we've got lots of runway, and we don't need to roll anything out in a rush.
Our Unpaywall project (a free index of the world's open-access research literature) has been self-sustaining via a freemium revenue model for nearly five years, and we'll certainly be looking closely at that as a model for OpenAlex, as well. Access to the data will always be free for everyone, but some kind of high-throughput, SLA access is potentially something we could add later for a fee.
We're currently focused on getting OpenAlex launched and all the bugs worked out, though, and we're not ready to commit to any one sustainability path just yet. Stay tuned :)
Last modified 16d ago