RO-Crate describes the community-led effort to establish a lightweight method of aggregating and describing research data with associated metadata. Replacing traditional academic publications as a PDF with a digital object that contains all the items that contributed to the research outcome, including their identifiers, provenance, relations and annotations.

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


A resource stored using RO-Crate subsequently details who created it, using which equipment, software and workflows, under what licences it can be reused, and where was it collected, and/or where is it about. All this as a digital object that is packaged for distribution via ZIP, Bagit and OCFL – or simply be published online.


The RO-Crate Toolbox contains tools currently under development for working with the RO-Crates: