Customer Success Story: Our Research

About Our Research

Our Research builds tools to make scholarly research more open, connected, and reusable—for everyone.

Our Research



Our Research has been supporting the growth of Open Access research for a decade. Both founders, Heather Piwowar and Jason Priem, are passionate advocates of improving the openness and accessibility of academic research for all.

With this in mind they developed two main tools including:

  1. Unpaywall Data Feed – the gold standard for discovering OA tracking and the status and location of over 130 million academic articles, of which 30 million and growing are OA.
  2. Unsub – a data analytics tool that helps post-secondary institutions better manage and forecast their academic journal spend.

With over 300 clients and climbing, Our Research needed assistance in two main ways:

  • Proactively selling the Data Feed product globally.
  • Support in the licensing and contractual negotiations associated with Unsub which can be time consuming and complex.



With the growth in the business and the need to manage existing customers and continue with product development, Jason and Heather did not have the time to continue with proactive sales efforts nor wish to spend the time it takes to negotiate and re-work Licensing Agreements for users. So as a solution, they decided to look for some assistance that could help them in a cash flow friendly manner and scale with them.


Utilizing VA Partners Part-Time Sales services, a sales strategy was developed and executed including:

  • Developing a sales plan and sales messaging
  • Supporting the Licensing negotiations and closing of new customers
  • Setting up a CRM (Hubspot) to manage the sales process
  • Proactively targeting new customers for the Data Feed
  • Following up with existing Data Feed customers on their satisfaction and renewal interest



After working with VA Partners for almost 1 year, Hubspot has now become the central repository for managing customer information and renewals. VA Partners has helped manage and close over $500,000 worth of licensing deals between both the Unsub and Data Feed products.  

To learn more about how you can grow your revenues faster with a Part-time VP of Sales, click here.