The scope of ROR is the “affiliation use case” -  proper description of relationships between contributors, contributions, research sponsors, publishers, and employers. We use “affiliation” to describe any formal relationship between a researcher and an organization associated with researchers, including but not limited to their employer, educator, funder, or scholarly society. We define “research organization” as any organization that conducts, produces, manages, or touches research. 

Product overview

The vision for a registry of research organizations with unique IDs and associated metadata consists of the following required features:

  • Unique and persistent IDs for organizations in the research community
  • IDs resolve to information about the entity: human- and machine-readable
  • Open API/content negotiation
  • Administrative facility to correct, manage, and crosswalk data, including assertion model and syncing with other PID providers
  • Public data dump
  • Common and uniform metadata set

Record management and data curation

Organizations change over time, and the management of ROR records will account for this inevitability. The ROR project team, with input from the Community Advisory Group and other stakeholders, is developing processes and policies for handling record management and data curation. These processes and policies will cover record creation, redirection, consolidation, and deprecation. The processes and policies will also take into account the need to maintain persistence of ROR IDs and record metadata, to identify record status (e.g., active or deprecated), and to implement an open provenance model that tracks assertion histories. The project team will also establish communication channels for record changes to be requested, and for organizations to be involved directly in reviewing and approving changes whenever possible. 


The ROR MVR launched in January 2019 and since then the project team has been developing a long-term plan for the future. The areas of focus on the post-MVR ROR roadmap for 2019 are listed below. We will be sharing a more comprehensive roadmap later this year.

Product development

  • Rewrite the code for both the API and the OpenRefine reconciler - switch from Ruby to Python
  • Update ROR continuously with the latest version of the GRID database (short term) and enable ROR records to be edited independently (longer-term)
  • Make a public data dump available
  • Work with GRID to support adding ROR IDs to GRID
  • Add additional metadata to ROR (city/state, related records, and more)
  • Support ROR IDs in Crossref and DataCite metadata schemas
  • Better support for advanced searches and queries

Policy development

  • Finalize policies for adding, updating, merging, and deprecating records
  • Develop curation workflows

Outreach and community development

  • Form ROR Community Advisory Group
  • Work with Community Advisory Group members to draft policies and discuss adoption and implementation
  • Meet with community partners to discuss pilot implementations
  • Raise awareness about ROR through presentations and discussions at conferences and events
  • Provide materials to community members to talk about ROR at conferences and events
  • Refresh ROR website
  • Publish blog posts and newsletters with updates about ROR
  • Establish and maintain a communication channel for users and community members to contact ROR with requests and questions

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