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.
After the initial draft, the community decided to base the specification on DataCrate, and changed the name from ROLite to RO-Crate.
The RO-Crate team is:
To suggest changes, improvements or issues, use the GitHub repository https://github.com/ResearchObject/ro-crate - 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