A Reflection on ROR's First Year

By Maria Gould | December 17, 2019

Flashback to one year ago, December 2018:

The ROR project team was putting the final pieces in place to launch the ROR MVR (minimum viable registry) in January. The ROR ID format was under discussion. A website was under construction. The purchase of the ror.org domain was being negotiated. We were getting ready to ROAR! But we weren’t sure at that time who else would be listening, and who might be ready to roar alongside us.

What a year it has been!

Today, in December of 2019, the ROR registry now includes IDs and metadata for more than 97,000 organizations. Users are working with the ROR API and OpenRefine reconciler to match free-text affiliation strings to ROR IDs and clean up messy lists of affiliations. The public ROR data dump has been downloaded more than 60 times. ROR IDs have been added to Wikidata and to GRID. Datasets in Dryad now have affiliations (with ROR IDs) for the very first time, and thousands of research objects in DataCite can be searched by affiliations now that ROR IDs are supported in DataCite metadata. ROR is being integrated into platforms and services across the scholarly communication landscape, including grant application systems (Altum’s ProposalCentral), citation trackers (Cobaltmetrics), researcher recognition (Rescognito), and Crossref metadata (coming soon!). Other implementations are in the works in publisher systems, institutional repositories, researcher profiles, and more—all enabling more powerful and efficient discovery and tracking of research outputs by the organizations where they are affiliated.

Phew, what a year!

But that’s not all: The ROR Community came to life in 2019, energized by the promise and vision of truly community-owned infrastructure for organization identifiers. Community stakeholders and supporters are providing feedback on ROR development, participating in project discussions, spreading the word about ROR at conferences and events, and signing on as ROR supporters. ROR also welcomed new members to its Steering Group to help guide the registry’s further development and the community engagement around it.

What a year, indeed.

**But there is more to do, and more yet to come. **

We have big dreams of growing the registry, of building out more and better tools for interacting with and implementing ROR data, of making the ROR website more user-friendly, of supporting wider adoption and implementation of ROR IDs, and at long last setting up ROR’s technical systems so the registry can be curated independently from GRID.

This work takes time. It also requires more resources beyond the existing grassroots effort fueled by in-kind contributions from the ROR steering organizations. While these organizations are committed to ROR for the long term, it is time to have dedicated support to strengthen and sustain ROR’s existing capacity.

The ROR sustainability campaign launched in October to secure community investment in the registry for the future. Thanks to the generosity of the community, this campaign has raised $48,000 to date, confirming that there is a clear consensus that this type of initiative is valuable and is worth supporting.

Can you help ROR to do even more in the year(s) to come? If you have not yet contributed to the fundraising campaign, consider chipping in to bring ROR closer to its sustainability goal (email donate@ror.org to make a pledge). You can also help spread the word to other organizations that might be able to contribute. Your support will go directly to ROR’s development and will help to maintain ROR as trusted, open, and community-led infrastructure.

It has been thrilling to see so much enthusiasm for ROR in the past year, and so much trust in the initiative. We take this responsibility seriously—and know you do as well.

Thank you for supporting ROR, for energizing the project, and for roaring along with us every step of the way.


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