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ROR and GRID: The Way Forward

By ROR Leadership Team | July 12, 2021

Earlier today, GRID announced that it will discontinue its schedule of public releases in Q4 2021. This decision marks an important and exciting milestone in the evolution of both organization registries.

ROR’s core mission is to be a community-led registry of open organization identifiers. While GRID has maintained an open registry of organization identifiers available CC0 to the community since 2015, it did not intend to serve as a community-driven initiative. Therefore, it was a natural arrangement to jump-start ROR with seed data from GRID, and accept ongoing updates from GRID while developing ROR to ultimately function independently as the community registry of record. The plan has always been that ROR would inevitably need to be able to diverge from GRID in order to more fully address the requirements and use cases that come with maintaining a community-based initiative. GRID’s recent decision aligns perfectly with the progress ROR has already made towards this goal.

Since its launch in 2019, ROR’s operating organizations have been working to shore up resourcing and infrastructure. ROR has installed a community-based advisory group and steering group, secured grant funding and community donations, created a governance structure and sustainability model, implemented basic community-based curation workflows, and began building the necessary infrastructure to be able to deploy registry updates independently. During this time, ROR has also seen wide adoption across the scholarly infrastructure landscape and recognition as a core persistent identifier for organizations by publishers and repositories as well as by national research offices around the world (e.g., UK, US, Japan, Netherlands, France, Australia). ROR has been working with community members to support them in mapping ROR to other organizational identifiers, including GRID IDs, as part of broader efforts to drive ROR adoption. ROR has also recently started a process to receive requests from the community to add and update ROR records.

Below we are cross-posting a joint statement from Digital Science and ROR about this transition. We are excited about the milestone that this represents for both registries.


GRID Passes the Torch to ROR

In 2015 Digital Science first released the Global Research Identifier Database (GRID), an open database of unique research-related organisation identifiers they had developed in-house over several years, for public use by the research community. In 2019 ROR, the Research Organization Registry, was founded as a community-driven initiative, mirroring the GRID database. With ROR coming of age and becoming independent from GRID, Digital Science has decided to pass on the torch to ROR and retire GRID from the public space, with a last public release in Q4 of 2021.

This might come as a surprise, as GRID and ROR have been co-existing and collaborating for quite some time now. GRID was initially created to fill a void, as no open organisation identifier was available for the open research space. As a community-driven initiative has now built upon GRID’s first initiative, two open organisation identifiers could be perceived as competing against each other. Digital Science has therefore decided to formally hand the torch over to ROR as the leading open organisation identifier. Digital Science will continue to use GRID internally- but focused on the Digital Science products and their users and clients.

In Q4 of 2021, Digital Science’s GRID will discontinue its schedule of public releases in order to provide clarity and space for the Research Organization Registry (ROR) to develop further.  ROR was originally seeded by GRID data and supported by Digital Science as one of the founding partners.  It was always envisaged that ROR, being community-owned and driven, would eventually become the principal identity for institutions and now, after 3 years of “dual-running”, the moment has come for ROR to take on that mantle.  The inclusion of ROR in the DataCite, Crossref and ORCID datasets, along with the level of development of the ROR infrastructure means that ROR has reached a level of community adoption that will ensure its long-term place in the persistent identifier and data infrastructure environment.

Digital Science has supported the ROR initiative as a founding member ever since a chat with other stakeholders in Girona in 2018. When ROR launched, GRID provided the seed data of over 100,000 records. The GRID team has also been working to regularly update the data for the past three years to help jump-start ROR. For the last three years, significant efforts have taken place both within ROR and Digital Science to keep the two identifiers synchronised.  This next step in the evolution of ROR will allow it to diverge from GRID where needed. We are excited that we have reached this important milestone together!

ROR and Digital Science are committed to making the transition as smooth as possible for anyone who may wish to make the switch from GRID to ROR.

You can find resources about transitioning from GRID to ROR on the ROR support site, and more resources will be added soon. Please reach out directly to the GRID Team and the ROR Team via the ROR PID Forum Chat Room in case you have any questions, or see the FAQ section.

Digital Science and ROR are extremely excited to see how well the project has developed, and look forward to seeing how ROR is used in the future. The GRID and ROR teams would like to thank the academic community for their engagement and involvement.

See additional FAQs about this transition here.

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