RO-Crate Metadata Specification 1.1.1

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. WilliamsGiacomo Tartari, Finn Bacall, Thomas Thelen, Hervé Ménager, Laura Rodríguez-Navas, Paul Walk, brandon whitehead, Mark Wilkinson, Paul Groth, Erich Bremer, LJ Garcia Castro, Karl Sebby, Alexander Kanitz, Ana Trisovic, Gavin Kennedy, Mark Graves, Jasper Koehorst, Simone Leo, Marc Portier

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This document specifies a method, known as RO-Crate (Research Object Crate), of aggregating and describing research data with associated metadata. RO-Crates can aggregate and describe any resource including files, URI-addressable resources, or use other addressing schemes to locate digital or physical data. RO-Crates can describe data in aggregate and at the individual resource level, with metadata to aid in discovery, re-use and long term management of data. Metadata includes the ability to describe the context of data and the entities involved in its production, use and reuse. For example: who created it, using which equipment, software and workflows, under what licenses can it be re-used, where was it collected, and/or where is it about.

RO-Crate uses JSON-LD to to express this metadata using linked data, describing data resources as well as contextual entities such as people, organizations, software and equipment as a series of linked JSON-LD objects - using common published vocabularies, chiefly

The core of RO-Crate is a JSON-LD file, the RO-Crate Metadata File, named ro-crate-metadata.json. This file contains structured metadata about the dataset as a whole (the Root Data Entity) and, optionally, about some or all of its files. 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 complex provenance for files, such as how they were created using software and equipment.

While providing the formal specification for RO-Crate, this document also aims to be a practical guide for software authors to create tools for generating and consuming research data packages, with explanation by examples.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2021


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  • Packaging research artefacts with RO-Crate

    Soiland-Reyes, S., Sefton, P., Crosas, M., Castro, L. J., Coppens, F., Fernández, J. M., Garijo, D., Grüning, B., La Rosa, M., Leo, S., Ó Carragáin, E., Portier, M., Trisovic, A., RO-Crate Community, Groth, P. & Goble, C., 20 Jul 2022, In: Data Science. 5, 2, p. 97-138 42 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
  • RO-Crate Metadata Specification 1.1

    Sefton, P., Carragáin, E. Ó., Soiland-Reyes, S., Corcho, O., Garijo, D., Palma, R., Coppens, F., Goble, C., Fernández, J. M., Chard, K., Gomez-Perez, J. M., Crusoe, M. R., Eguinoa, I., Juty, N., Holmes, K., Clark, J. A., Capella-Gutierrez, S., Gray, A. J. G., Owen, S., Williams, A. R., & 18 othersTartari, G., Bacall, F., Thelen, T., Ménager, H., Rodríguez-Navas, L., Walk, P., whitehead, B., Wilkinson, M., Groth, P., Bremer, E., Castro, LJ. G., Sebby, K., Kanitz, A., Trisovic, A., Kennedy, G., Graves, M., Koehorst, J. & Leo, S., 30 Oct 2020, 75 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    Open Access

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