Preprint Open Access

RO-Crate, a lightweight approach to Research Object data packaging

Eoghan Ó Carragáin,; Carole Goble; Peter Sefton; Stian Soiland-Reyes

A Research Object (RO) provides 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 publications of static PDFs, to rather provide a complete and structured archive of the items (such as people, organisations, funding, equipment, software etc) that contributed to the research outcome, including their identifiers, provenance, relations and annotations.

This is increasingly important as researchers now rely heavily on computational analysis, yet we are facing a reproducibility crisis as key components are often not sufficiently tracked, archived or reported.

We are developing Research Object Crate (or RO-Crate for short), a lightweight approach to package research data with their structured metadata, based on annotations in a formalized JSON-LD format that can be used independent of infrastructure to encourage FAIR sharing of reproducible datasets and analytical methods.

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