Help Build Open Infrastructure for Organization Identifiers: A Call to Support and Sustain ROR

By Maria Gould | October 16, 2019

ROR is the Research Organization Registry, a community-led project to develop an open, sustainable, usable, and unique identifier for every research organization in the world. 

ROR emerged to fill a crucial gap in the scholarly communication landscape: while we already had an open network of identifiers for research outputs (DOIs for publications and data) and research contributors (ORCID IDs), open infrastructure for research organizations was a missing piece. 

ROR is a robust and stable registry of identifiers for close to 100K organizations (and counting!), and provides open tools for using and implementing ROR IDs, including a front-end search interface, an API, a reconciler that works with OpenRefine, and a public data dump. Everything is openly available on Github.

The promise of ROR lies in connecting identifiers throughout the scholarly communication landscape. ROR IDs are being captured in systems and platforms where researcher affiliations are collected, and will be supported in Crossref and DataCite metadata to enable discovery and tracking of research outputs across institutions and funding bodies.

As we grow the registry, we will be building curation tools for maintaining ROR records over time, establishing a community curation board, and developing more support for system integrations and for downstream uses of registry data.

ROR is committed to being a community-driven effort. We are a collaborative project led by academic and nonprofit organizations with deep expertise in this space. We have supporters and advisors from across industries and around the world.

Supporting and sustaining ROR

All of ROR’s work so far has been completed through in-kind donations from ROR steering organizations. In the coming years, we want to further develop ROR to enable greater adoption and downstream uses. 

Our organizations are committed to ROR for the long-term but we can’t move forward without dedicated community support. We are launching a fundraising campaign in order to be able to scale up our operations, hire dedicated staff, and develop and deliver new features, with a plan to launch a paid service tier in 2022 to recover costs while keeping the registry’s data open and free for all.

ROR aims to raise $175,000 in donations over the next two years. As a supporter, you’ll have an opportunity to be part of this exciting community effort from the beginning and to ensure its long-term growth and success. Our first fundraising target is $75,000 by the end of 2019 in order to secure enough funds to hire a technical lead and to organize an in-person ROR Community planning meeting at PIDapalooza in January 2020. 

Supporter opportunities

Donations of all shapes and sizes are welcome. Suggested amounts are as follows:

  • Lioness: $10000 
  • Tiger: $7000
  • Jaguar: $3500 
  • Leopard: $1000

Why these animals? They are the only four big cats in the world that have the ability to ROAR!

Donors in 2019 and 2020 will be listed as founding supporters on the ROR website. 

You can also support ROR by spreading the word and by actively implementing ROR in systems and workflows to help our communities fully realize the benefits that ROR IDs help us to unlock. If you have engineering experience and want to get involved in the registry’s technical development, please let us know. 

Ready to contribute? 

Please email  to indicate your interest in making a donation. As part of its in-kind contributions to the ROR project, Crossref will process donations on ROR’s behalf. Crossref will report donation details and updates to the ROR Steering Group. The donations will be used exclusively for ROR activities and spending of the funds will be approved by the ROR Steering Group.  

Thank you for supporting ROR and the ROR Community

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