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Title: Packaging research artefacts with RO-Crate
Authors: Stian Soiland-Reyes 
Peter Sefton 
Mercè Crosas 
Leyla Jael Castro 
Frederik Coppens 
José Maria Fernández 
Daniel Garijo 
Björn Grüning 
Marco La Rosa 
Simone Leo 
Eoghan Ó Carragáin 
Marc Portier 
Ana Trisovic 
RO-Crate Community 
Paul Groth 
Carole Goble 
Affiliations: Department of Computer Science, The University of Manchester, UK; Informatics Institute, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands 
Faculty of Science, University Technology Sydney, Australia 
Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA 
ZB MED Information Centre for Life Sciences, Cologne, Germany 
VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology, Gent, Belgium 
Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Barcelona, Spain 
Ontology Engineering Group, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain 
Bioinformatics Group, Department of Computer Science, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany 
PARADISEC, Melbourne, Australia 
Center for Advanced Studies, Research, and Development in Sardinia (CRS4), Pula (CA), Italy 
University College Cork, Ireland 
Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee, Oostende, Belgium 
Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA 
(see Appendix B) 
Informatics Institute, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands 
Department of Computer Science, The University of Manchester, UK 
Editors: Silvio Peroni 
Keywords: Data publishing, data packaging, FAIR, Linked Data, metadata, reproducibility, research object
Issue Date: 20-Jul-2022
Publisher: IOS Press
Project: Providing an open collaborative space for digital biology in Europe 
Journal: Data Science 
Volume: 5
Issue: 2
Start page: 97
End page: 138
An increasing number of researchers support reproducibility by including pointers to and descriptions of datasets, software and methods in their publications. However, scientific articles may be ambiguous, incomplete and difficult to process by automated systems. In this paper we introduce RO-Crate, an open, community-driven, and lightweight approach to packaging research artefacts along with their metadata in a machine readable manner. RO-Crate is based on annotations in JSON-LD, aiming to establish best practices to formally describe metadata in an accessible and practical way for their use in a wide variety of situations.

An RO-Crate is a structured archive of all the items that contributed to a research outcome, including their identifiers, provenance, relations and annotations. As a general purpose packaging approach for data and their metadata, RO-Crate is used across multiple areas, including bioinformatics, digital humanities and regulatory sciences. By applying “just enough” Linked Data standards, RO-Crate simplifies the process of making research outputs FAIR while also enhancing research reproducibility.

An RO-Crate for this article is archived at
DOI: 10.3233/DS-210053
Appears in Collections:CRS4 publications

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