Research Object Crate

View the Project on GitHub ResearchObject/ro-crate

Research Object Crate (RO-Crate)

  1. Research Object Crate (RO-Crate)
    1. What is a Research Object
    2. Drafts
    3. Use cases
    4. Contribute

Note: ROLite has been renamed to RO-Crate. This is the new homepage

What is a Research Object

A Research Object (RO) provide a machine-readable mechanism to communicate the diverse set of digital and real-world resources that contribute to an item of research. The aim of an RO is to replace traditional academic publication as a PDF with a couple of supplementary materials; to instead provide a structured archive of all the items that contributed to the research outcome, including their identifiers, provenance, relations and annotations.

This is of particular importance as all domains of research and science are increasingly relying in computational analysis, yet we are facing a reproducibility crisis because key components are not sufficiently tracked, archived or reported.

Examples of items that should be included in a Research Object:

The Research Object initiative have iteratively been developing specifications for machine-readable formats to communicate Research Objects. These pages describes the format Research Object Crate (or RO-Crate for short) that aims to simplify generation of ROs for researchers, e.g. to manually or semi-automatically describe a single dataset or a loose collection of documents. See the background for details on the other formats that may be more appropriate for more complex scenarios.


This specification is currently work in progress using our GitHub repository. Future work will aim to add validation mechanisms like JSON Schema and W3C Shapes Constraint Language.

After the initial draft, the community decided to base the specification on DataCrate, and changed the name from ROLite to RO-Crate.

Use cases

We are currently gathering usecases, please help us by adding more.


The RO-Crate team is:

To suggest changes, improvements or issues, use the GitHub repository - if you are new to GitHub or Open Source you may appreciate the GitHub guides like Hello World, MarkDown and How to contribute to open source

You are welcome to join us! Contributors are expected to comply with our Code of Conduct to ensure an open and inclusive environment.

This specification and documentation is Open Source and licensed as Apache License, version 2.0, see for details.