Research Object Crate

View the Project on GitHub ResearchObject/ro-crate

Research Object Crate (RO-Crate)


  1. What is RO-Crate?
  2. Where did RO-Crate come from?
  3. Who is it for?
  4. When can I use it?
  5. How can I use it?
  6. Contribute
    1. Meetings
  7. Cite RO-Crate

News: RO-Crate Metadata specification 1.0 released

What is RO-Crate?

RO-Crate is a community effort to establish a lightweight approach to packaging research data with their metadata. It is based on annotations in JSON-LD, and aims to make best-practice in formal metadata description accessible and practical for use in a wider variety of situations, from an individual researcher working with a folder of data, to large data-intensive computational research environments.

Where did RO-Crate come from?

RO-Crate is the marriage of Research Objects with DataCrate. It aims to build on their respective strengths, but also to draw on lessons learned from those projects and similar research data packaging efforts. For more details, see background.

Who is it for?

The RO-Crate effort brings together practitioners from very different backgrounds, and with different motivations and use-cases. Among our core target users are: a) researchers engaged with computation and data-intensive, workflow-driven analysis; b) digital repository managers and infrastructure providers; c) individual researchers looking for a straight-forward tool or how-to guide to “FAIRify” their data; d) data stewards supporting research projects in creating and curating datasets.

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

When can I use it?

The RO-Crate 1.0 specification has been released.

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

Feedback and improvements are welcome towards RO-Crate 1.1, taking into account backwards compatibility according to semantic versioning.

How can I use it?

While we’re mostly focusing on the specification, some tools already exist for working with RO-Crates:

These applications use or expose RO-Crates:

You can also look at some example RO-Crates: Note: Some of these examples may be using RO-Crate 0.2, which may miss some subtle changes in RO-Crate 1.0.


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.


The RO-Crate team try to meet in a monthly telcon, see the rolling agenda for schedule, call-in details and minutes.

See also recent and upcoming events.

Cite RO-Crate

Eoghan Ó Carragáin; Carole Goble; Peter Sefton; Stian Soiland-Reyes (2019): A lightweight approach to research object data packaging Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (BOSC2019)

See also recent publications, presentations and citations.