The ROR of the crowd: get involved!

By California Digital Library, DataCite, Crossref, and Digital Science | December 2, 2018

Earlier this year, the Org ID Working Group wrapped up their work. There was a lot of talk about governance, with options discussed for creating an entirely new independent organization; and/or having a looser group of stakeholders. After several months of discussion following the January stakeholder meeting in Girona, Spain, there was still no easy answer to the governance question. It’s especially tough when getting down to details like timelines, hosting, staffing, and of course, funding. Our organizations each had to question whether we are truly capable of taking a leading role and really commit, having the will and agility to implement the outcomes of the Working Group.

Fortunately, the Product recommendations were resoundingly conclusive: there is a need for a single top-level registry of truly open identifiers for organizations that conduct research. No department level, no ambiguity. This will allow the more granular options out there to interoperate, and fulfill the core use case long missing from research communications:

What organizations are affiliated with what research outputs?

Therefore, more recently, four of the original stakeholders decided to take a practical approach, to grasp the mantle and get going with a pilot. We set up this website, calling ‘Org ID’ the Research Organization Registry (ROR), and are now discussing technical plans to start building something useful to pilot. We haven’t given up on the governance question. We—or rather, you, the community—can help evolve the governance models as needed. But, for now, we will start to execute on our shared vision!

An agile startup phase

California Digital Library (CDL), Crossref, DataCite, and Digital Science have agreed on the following approach:

  • The four lead organizations will put in resources for a “start-up phase”
  • We will leverage the PID-focused Product Manager at CDL Maria Gould to act as a central ROR Project Coordinator and Product Manager
  • Each head of the four organizations will act as a small and nimble steering group with an aim to expand to better reflect the community over time
  • We will use the GRID data—which is licensed CC0—as a basis for a ROR ‘minimal viable registry’.
  • We will see ourselves as custodians for now; ensuring we are committed to continued community involvement (see below)!

Are you ready to ROR?

Did you know that lions roar to communicate between members of the same pride or coalition? What is not often appreciated, is how unbelievably accurately lions can pinpoint exactly where another roar is coming from, and identify exactly what type of lion is calling on the other end.

There were 17 organizations previously in the working group and now we are calling for any and all stakeholders to sign up via this website, to get involved with ROR in some capacity. We are planning to set up a community advisory group to input on a ROR minimal viable registry, and feed into developing a more appropriate governance structure. While our four organizations have stepped up to ‘steer’, we know that there are numerous universities, funding bodies, and others, who are keen to put some time in to see this exciting vision become a reality.

See you in Dublin?

We’d like to invite you to our first ROR stakeholder meeting, which will take place in Dublin on the 22nd of January—prior to PIDapalooza—from 3-5pm.

Let’s ROR together and make an open organization identifier a reality! 🦁

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