API Implications of the recent SHERPA/RoMEO Upgrade

A new version of SHERPA/RoMEO was released on the 15th August. The main change was the introduction of a new database that improves the coverage and accuracy of journal information. Full details of the new and improved features can be found at:


This blog is about the effects the upgrade has on the RoMEO API.

New API Version 2.9

Firstly, we have released a new version of the API – version 2.9 – that uses the new RoMEO Journals database. The base URL is:


This version also has additional features and optional query arguments, of which the main ones are:

  • &la= – Language. This lets you return results in one of the supported languages – Spanish, Portuguese, and (for the API only) German
  • &versions=all – Returns data in an enhanced XML schema that has a separate section for the Publisher’s version/PDF. Previously, this information was included within the Post-print data.
  • &pdate= – Lets you search for publishers by RoMEO update date

Further information and documentation for Version 2.9 is available at:


REST-style URLs

Please note also that we now have REST-style URLs for specific human RoMEO pages, e.g.:

  • For a journal, using an ISSN or ESSN

e.g. http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/1471-5767/.

Optionally add a language code

e.g. http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/issn/1364-453X/de/ – for German output

  • For a publisher, using its persistent RoMEO ID

e.g. http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/pub/266/

Again, optionally with a language code

Migrating Applications

The new API works exactly as before, so you may only need to change the base URL in your applications. However, we suggest that you may also wish to upgrade your applications to exploit the new API features.

Please note that V.2.9 has a usage cap of 500 requests per day per IP address. This should be sufficient for most repository applications, but could affect large application such as CRIS systems. With efficient practices, the cap should not be a problem even for these systems. For more advice on efficient use of the API, please see the poster we presented at OAI7:


Older API Versions

Version 2.4 of the API (and later prototype versions) have been converted to use the new Journals database, and will continue to be supported for the foreseeable future. The main differences you may notice are fewer failed journal queries, and fewer journals returning multiple publishers. However, you need to upgrade to V.2.9 if you wish to exploit the new features.

Earlier 2.x versions (V.2.1 to 2.3) still use the original RoMEO database tables, which will not longer be updated. You therefore must upgrade your applications if you are using these versions. In September 2011, we will start redirecting requests for these versions to V.2.9. This probably will not adversely affect applications, but there is a risk it might. We plan to delete these early versions completely by the end of November 2011.

Future Registration of API Users

We plan to introduce a registration system in the near future for regular and heavy API users. This will permit registered users to exceed the daily usage cap, which is mainly necessary for initial processing of large bibliographies or for research purposes. It will also ensure that registered users receive advanced notice of future developments, and timely notification of service issues.

Please contact us at romeo@sherpa.ac.uk if you have any queries or concerns about the upgrade or future planned changes, or are interested in registering.


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