When the funderReference property was added to DataCite Metadata Schema 4.0, the “Funder” contributorType was also removed. But the “Sponsor” contributorType remains. This makes me think that there’s a difference between a funder, whose name would be entered in the funderReference, and a sponsor, whose name would be entered in the contributor property using the “Sponsor” contributorType. (This also make me think that it’s still appropriate to think of funders as contributors, even though their names are not recorded in the Contributor property.)
But from the definitions and usage notes in the schema docs, it’s not clear to me what the differences would be. I’ve pasted the definitions and notes here for convenience:
- Definition: Information about financial support (funding) for the resource being registered
- Note: It’s best practice to supply funding information when financial support has been received
- Definition: Person or organisation that issued a contract or under the auspices of which a work has been written, printed, published, developed, etc.
- Note: Includes organisations that provide in-kind support, through donation, provision of people or a facility or instrumentation necessary for the development of the resource, etc.
I think there’s some overlap. But is it fair to say that a sponsor might be different from a funder because a sponsor has provided support that is not financial? If so, would it be helpful to mention this in the docs?