The Research Organization Registry (ROR) is a global, community-led registry of open persistent identifiers for research organizations. ROR makes it easy for anyone or any system to disambiguate institution names and connect research organizations to researchers and research outputs.
Organizations are not static entities. They change their names, merge, split, shut down, and re-emerge, and this makes it difficult to connect research organizations to research outputs and researchers. A persistent identifier for research organizations makes this easier.
ROR is the first and only organization identifier that is openly available (CC0 data available via an open REST API and public data dump), specifically focused on identifying affiliations in scholarly metadata, developed as a community initiative to meet community use cases, and designed to be integrated into open scholarly infrastructure. It is the default identifier supported in Crossref DOI metadata, DataCite DOI metadata, and ORCID.
ROR is used in journal publishing systems, data repositories, funder and grant management platforms, open access workflows, and other research infrastructure components to disambiguate institutional affiliations, improve discovery and tracking of research outputs by affiliation, and facilitate OA publishing workflows, among other use cases. Read more about current ROR integrations.
Looking for basic information about ROR? Check out the frequently asked questions for answers to questions about what organizations ROR includes, how ROR relates to other organizational identifiers, how to use ROR, and how information in ROR is added and modified.
ROR is operated as a collaborative initiative by California Digital Library, Crossref, and DataCite. The three ROR governing organizations collectively assume and share responsibility for ROR governance, operations, resourcing, and decision-making. These responsibilities are defined in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
Responsibility for ROR is designed and premised on the following core principles:
- ROR is a collaborative, open infrastructure initiative and service.
- ROR is not an independent organization or legal entity.
- ROR is committed to following the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI).
- ROR cannot be governed by, purchased by, controlled by or sold to a commercial entity.
- The ROR governing organizations agree to not transfer control of any aspect of ROR or the ROR system to a commercial entity.
ROR’s day-to-day financial activities are administered by the Crossref accounting team on behalf of ROR. Crossref is responsible for holding all shared ROR funds in a designated bank account. ROR has full access to and authority over its funds. Financial reports are shared with the ROR Steering Group and made available to the broader community.
There are no fees to access and use ROR. ROR data is freely and openly available without any restrictions under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain dedication. ROR code is openly available on Github under a MIT License.
During its startup years (2019–2022) ROR has been operated on a mixed funding model that includes:
- In-kind support from the ROR governing organizations
- Contributions from supporting organizations
- Grants (Institute for Museum and Library Services and the National Science Foundation)
ROR’s three governing organizations share collective responsibility for operating ROR and committing in-kind support to cover ROR’s core personnel and operating expenses, per the terms of their Memorandum of Agreement.
ROR continues to receive additional investments from community supporters. These funds offset operating costs and support time-limited projects.
In line with ROR’s commitment to the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI), ROR will not only use time-limited funds for time-limited projects, and any potential revenue-generation models developed in the future would be based on services, not data.
The ROR operations team is responsible for strategic decision-making about registry resourcing and operations. This team comprises the ROR Director and a representative from each governing organization.
- Maria Gould (ROR Director), California Digital Library
- John Chodacki, California Digital Library
- Ed Pentz, Crossref
- Matt Buys, DataCite
ROR’s core team is responsible for all activities related to day-to-day operations and development.
Adam joined ROR in January 2022. As metadata curation lead, Adam coordinates ongoing updates and improvements to the registry and works closely with ROR’s community curation advisory board. A librarian and developer based in Los Angeles, USA, Adam previously worked as a data developer for the Getty Conservation Institute, as an implementation manager for OCLC’s Metadata Services, and for the University of Michigan’s Art, Architecture, and Engineering Library.
Amanda joined ROR in June 2022. Amanda works with ROR’s three operating organizations and the broader ROR community to promote and support the adoption of ROR in systems used throughout research and scholarly communications workflows.
A well-known community manager and project director in the digital humanities and scholarly communication sphere, Amanda was most recently Community Lead at The COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic. Previously, she directed the Mellon-funded project “Resilient Networks for Inclusive Digital Humanities” at the George Washington University Libraries and the Digital Research Services unit at Virginia Tech University Libraries, led the THATCamp unconference initiative at George Mason University’s Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, and was a member of the first cohort of Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellows.
Liz joined the ROR team in late 2020 as our first Adoption Manager and has developed extensive guidance to support ROR users and integrators, before stepping into the role of ROR Technical Lead in February 2022. Previously, Liz was based at ORCID for 6 years, where she held roles ranging from member support to technical lead. A librarian by training and a software developer by necessity, Liz thrives at the intersection of people, processes and technology. She loves understanding the human and technological aspects of systems and developing solutions that suit both the people and the machines.
Maria joined ROR in November 2018 and led the team that launched the minimum viable registry (MVR) prototype at PIDapalooza in 2019. As director, Maria is responsible for coordinating ROR operations and developing ROR’s strategic vision. Maria is based at California Digital Library, where she leads the University of California Curation Center (UC3)’s portfolio of persistent identifier services, including ROR. Prior to joining ROR and CDL, Maria was a scholarly communication librarian at UC Berkeley and led documentation and training activities at PLOS.
ROR has benefited and continues to benefit from the involvement of many individuals in its early years.
- Geoffrey Bilder, Crossref
- Helena Cousijn, DataCite
- Esha Datta, Crossref
- Martin Fenner, DataCite
- Richard Hallett, DataCite
- Ginny Hendricks, Crossref
- Kornelia Korzec, Crossref
- Suze Kundu, Digital Science
- Rachael Lammey, Crossref
- Simon Porter, Digital Science
- Dominika Tkaczyk, Crossref
- Paul Vierkant, DataCite
- Sarala Wimalaratne, DataCite
More and more organizations, systems, and researchers are using ROR every day. See the list of who’s integrating ROR, read case studies with ROR adopters, and see how else we’re measuring ROR’s impact below.
The chart below tracks the number of DOI records registered with Crossref that include ROR IDs in metadata over time. The time series begins in May 2022 and is updated by periodically running manual queries of the Crossref API.
See the full spreadsheet tracking ROR IDs in Crossref and DataCite DOIs for API queries and additional statistics.
The chart below tracks the number of DOI records registered with DataCite that include ROR IDs in affiliation metadata over time. The time series begins in May 2022 and is updated by periodically running manual queries of the DataCite API.
The chart below tracks the use of text strings and identifiers in funding references in DataCite over time. The time series begins in May 2022 and is updated by periodically running manual queries of the DataCite API.
See the full spreadsheet tracking ROR IDs in Crossref and DataCite DOIs for API queries and additional statistics.
See the full ROR Research Zotero bibliography.
ROR API usage has seen remarkable increase over time and is a good, if rough, indicator of ROR’s increasing adoption. Explore our public ROR API insights dashboard to see how much people are using our API.
ROR is the culmination of several years of extensive community collaborations to develop a shared vision for a registry of organization identifiers.
Between 2016 and 2018, a group of 17 organizations with a shared purpose invested their time and energy into what was then known as the “Org ID” initiative, with the goal of defining requirements for an open, community-led organization identifier registry that would benefit all of our communities.
A number of activities took place as part of this initiative. Here is a brief timeline:
A series of collaborative workshops took place at the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) meeting in San Antonio, Texas, the FORCE11 conference in Portland, Oregon, and at PIDapalooza in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Findings from these workshops were summarized in three documents, which were made openly available to the community for public comment:
- Organization Identifier Project: A Way Forward
- Organization Identifier Provider Landscape
- Technical Considerations for an Organization Identifier Registry.
A Request for Information sought expressions of interest from organizations to be involved in implementing and running an organization identifier registry.
Following an enthusiastic response to the RFI, there was a stakeholder meeting in Girona, Spain, in January 2018, at which ORCID, DataCite, and Crossref were tasked with drafting a proposal that met the Working Group’s requirements.
In the discussions and planning process that followed the Girona meeting, it became clear that building a pilot registry would be a practical place to start, with governance and other community layers ultimately built around it.
A new steering group consisting of California Digital Library, Crossref, DataCite, and Digital Science stepped up to implement the pilot, with a donation of seed data from Digital Science’s GRID database. The pilot was called the Research Organization Registry and thus ROR was born!
The first iteration of the registry, known as the Minimum Viable Registry (MVR) was launched in January 2019 at an open community meeting at PIDapalooza in Dublin, Ireland.
The MVR and first registry release included ROR IDs and metadata for 91,625 organizations and was built from seed data from GRID. The MVR also included mechanisms for accessing and querying ROR data via a search interface, REST API, and data dump.
ROR’s early years following its launch were focused on developing the registry’s infrastructure beyond the MVR, raising community awareness and encouraging adoption, establishing a governance structure, and building a foundation for long-term sustainability.
Highlights from this period include:
ROR’s Community Advisory Group was established in March 2019 and has met bimonthly since then.
Dryad became the first ROR adopter in July 2019.
DataCite began supporting ROR IDs in its DOI metadata schema in August 2019.
ROR’s inaugural Steering Group was established in November 2019.
California Digital Library, Crossref, and DataCite signed a memorandum of agreement for shared responsibility and governance of ROR in May 2020.
In 2020, ROR was awarded grants from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to implement a community-based curation model and to expand adoption of ROR IDs in research infrastructure.
ROR became one of the first adopters of the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure in December 2020.
In July 2021, GRID announced plans to sunset its public data and officially pass the torch to ROR.
Crossref announced support for ROR IDs in its DOI metadata schema in July 2021.
ORCID announced its integration with ROR in October 2021.
ROR published its first independent registry update in March 2022.
ROR formalized its sustainability model in September 2022.
ROR was selected by SCOSS as essential open scholarly infrastructure in November 2022.
To obtain official versions of the ROR logo, please visit our display guidelines and logos page and abide by the usage recommendations there.