ROR (Research Organization Registry) is a community-led registry of open, sustainable, usable, and unique identifiers for every research organization in the world.

The scholarly community depends on a network of open identifier and metadata infrastructure. Content identifiers and contributor identifiers are foundational components of this network. But an additional component has been missing—until now, there has been no open, stakeholder-governed infrastructure for research organization identifiers and their associated metadata. With the aim of filling this gap, ROR launched in January 2019.

ROR is intended for use by the research community, for the purposes of increasing the use of organization identifiers in the community and enabling connections between organization records in various systems. Implementation of ROR IDs in scholarly infrastructure and metadata will enable more efficient discovery and tracking of research outputs across institutions and funding bodies. Read more about the ROR scope and roadmap.

ROR is run by a small group of steering organizations in collaboration with a broad network of community advisors and supporters. Read more about ROR’s governance structure and community supporters.

Sustainability & Guiding Principles

ROR’s sustainability strategy has been developed according to and motivated by the following goals and principles.

  • Focus on providing free and open data: ROR data is CC0. It can never be owned by anyone, and future paid services won’t impact access to the core data.
  • Keep the scope manageable: ROR is focused exclusively on providing core high-quality open data and infrastructure that is specific to the affiliation use case, can be easily implemented and integrated, and can be leveraged and built upon by external services and projects.
  • Cultivate early and sustained community engagement and governance: Community is key to ROR’s success and longevity. Since Day 1, ROR has been focused on establishing a core base of community users invested in ROR’s long-term success, driving adoption across the research landscape, and ensuring that ROR is attentive and adaptable to community needs.
  • Maintain low overhead: ROR does not need to be its own organization, but can succeed as a joint collaboration by steering organizations and wider community. In this way, costs and other overhead can be contained. 
  • Diversify resourcing streams: ROR is not reliant on a single source of funding but rather strategically resourced through a combination of in-kind funds from steering organizations, grant funding, community contributions, and (in future) optional add-on service fees.


ROR is the culmination of several years of extensive community collaboration 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 an 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 TX (2016), the FORCE11 conference in Portland OR (2016), and at PIDapalooza in Reykjavik (2016).
  • 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 (PDF), Organization Identifier Provider Landscape (PDF), Technical Considerations for an Organization Identifier Registry (PDF)
  • A Working Group worked throughout 2017 and voted to approve a core set of governance recommendations and product principles, drawing from conversations with community stakeholders:
  • 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 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!

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