ROR is a specific type of identifier and a specific type of initiative that does not always fit neatly into pre-defined notions and categories. The registry’s focus on providing an open, noncommercial, and community-driven solution to the problem of identifying research organization affiliations sets it apart from similar types of organization identifiers. The collaborative nature of ROR’s approach also sets it apart from other types of identifier providers and infrastructure organizations.
In the same week that ROR celebrated its third birthday, PIDapalooza celebrated the fifth festival of persistent identifiers, also as a virtual event. Across three tracks, seven languages, and twenty-hour hours, PIDapalooza21 highlighted the latest updates from the wide world of persistent identifiers, with a focus how open infrastructure and rich metadata are key to harnessing the power of PIDs. As a prime example of open identifier infrastructure that is designed to enrich scholarly metadata, ROR featured prominently in many PIDapalooza21 sessions.
ROR turned three last week and marked the occasion just like anyone else celebrating a birthday during the pandemic: with a virtual party! More than eighty attendees from around the world came together for the now third annual ROR community meeting, held this year on Zoom across two sessions to reach ROR’s global community in as many timezones as possible. At the meeting, we reflected on milestones and highlights from the past year and discussed the goals, opportunities, and challenges that lie ahead.
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 long been missing from this picture: open, stakeholder-governed infrastructure for research organization identifiers and their associated metadata. ROR launched in January 2019 with the specific aim of filling this gap. Our work is the culmination of several years of planning and collaboration across multiple organizations to develop a shared vision for an open registry of research organization identifiers.
ROR offers an open and community-driven solution for tracking research outputs by institutions. ROR identifiers for research organizations are not meant to exist on their own. Their potential will be fully realized with wide adoption of ROR IDs in scholarly infrastructure and metadata. Although ROR is still relatively new, ROR IDs are already being integrated and used in various ways. In a previous post, we shared the story of how Dryad relies on ROR to capture affiliation data for its 30,000 datasets and counting.
Some of the most frequent questions ROR receives are about what it means when an organization is in ROR, and how organizations end up in the registry in the first place. Many of you are understandably curious about how ROR records are added and updated. So, we thought this would be a good time to talk about how the registry is being maintained and how this process evolving. What does it mean if an organization is in ROR?
The Research Organization Registry is a cross-organizational and multi-stakeholder initiative. ROR is run by a small group of steering organizations in collaboration with a broad network of community advisors and supporters. This approach to operating ROR means that it does not fit neatly into existing notions of organizations in the scholarly communications and open infrastructure space: ROR is not an organization (fun fact: this means that ROR does not have its own ROR ID!
We’re more than halfway through 2020, and it has already been a year like no other. In the midst of global upheaval and uncertainty, work on the Research Organization Registry continues. Building and sustaining community and connections through open scholarly infrastructure seems more important than ever. Thanks to your support, engagement, and hard work, ROR has been making great progress toward our key goals for this year: building out ROR’s infrastructure, driving adoption and integration of ROR IDs, and setting ROR up for long-term sustainability.
Version 4.3 of the DataCite Metadata Schema released during August, 2019 included (among other things), the capability to provide persistent identifiers for affiliated organizations in the metadata (Dasler and deSmaele, Identify your affiliation with Metadata Schema 4.3, 2019). This capability builds on the work and enthusiasm generated by the ROR Community that has championed the concept of open organization identifiers for several years (Gould, A Reflection on ROR’s First Year, 2019).
ROR had a party in Portugal last month! Sixty friends - some new, some old - came together in Lisbon on the eve of PIDapalooza 2020 to celebrate ROR’s unofficial first birthday, marking one year since the registry debuted at a community meeting in Dublin in January 2019. This year’s gathering was a chance to review the milestones that ROR has passed in the last twelve months, highlight early implementations of ROR, and discuss the work that lies ahead for the next year and beyond with ROR’s active community.