The community recommendation RO-Crate 1.0 has been released.

RO-Crate (Research Object Crate) specifies a method of organizing file-based data with associated metadata, using Linked Data principles, in both human and machine readable formats, with the ability to include additional domain-specific metadata.

The core of RO-Crate is a JSON-LD file, the RO-Crate Metadata File, named ro-crate-metadata.jsonld. This file contains structured metadata about the dataset as a whole (the Root Data Entity) and, about some or all of its files within a data package. This provides a simple way to, for example, assert the authors (e.g. people, organizations) of the RO-Crate or one its files, or to capture more detailed provenance and metadata for files, such as how they were created using contextual entities such as software, equipment, geographical places, funders and subjects.

The RO-Crate specification is based on, providing an opinionated specification of its use to describe Research Objects, with practical use guides and examples for software authors to create tools for generating and consuming research data packages.

Building community consensus

RO-Crate is a fresh initiative, bringing together data archive and repository maintainers with existing Research Object, workflow and provenance communities. Starting as a small cross-domain group, organically formed to build the core principles and first sketches of their use, we are now expanding to collect use cases and reaching out to other packaging initiatives to build common ground.

For the eScience LAb, one emerging use of RO-Crate is for capturing workflows and tools in a federated workflow repository being built in EOSC-Life, a large European Open Science Cloud project across 13 research infrastructures in the life science domain. However RO-Crate is also aiming to be usable by individual Data Scientists and Digital Library efforts with no particular infrastructure beyond Jupyter notebook, who may not have the time or motivation to use a cascade of metadata vocabularies and research data management tools.

RO-Crate development and discussion is done openly in a GitHub repository by volunteers, with monthly telcons to synchronize the effort. Anyone can join to help form the RO-Crate approach.

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)

Peter Sefton, Eoghan Ó Carragáin, Stian Soiland-Reyes, Oscar Corcho, Daniel Garijo, Raul Palma, Frederik Coppens, Carole Goble, José María Fernández, Kyle Chard, Jose Manuel Gomez-Perez, Michael R Crusoe, Ignacio Eguinoa, Nick Juty, Kristi Holmes, Jason A. Clark, Salvador Capella-Gutierrez, Alasdair J. G. Gray, Stuart Owen, Alan R Williams, Giacomo Tartari, Finn Bacall, Thomas Thelen (2019):
RO-Crate Metadata Specification 1.0. Community Recommendation.

This news item has been adapted from the an abstract at *Workshop on Research Objects 2019* at *eScience 2019*, see for details.


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