ROR data structure


New status & relationship type values

Beginning 1 Dec 2022, ROR supports new values "inactive" and "withdrawn" in status and "Predecessor" and "Successor" in relationships.type. Previously, all records had a status of active and relationships types were limited to Parent, Child and Related. See updated field descriptions for status and relationships below and 2022-12-01 release notes for more details.

ROR's current data structure is based on Digital Science's GRID, which provided the original seed data for the registry. GRID has retired its public releases as of 16 Sep 2021, and the ROR data structure will evolve over time and based on community feedback now that ROR is managed independently from GRID.

To suggest a change to the ROR data structure, please post your suggestion on the ROR Roadmap Discussion board.

See also ROR Metadata Policies on GitHub.

ROR metadata

Records will return all fields regardless of whether they have a value. JSON will return null values and empty arrays and objects if there is no value available for the given organization.

Field nameDefinitionTypeRequiredValue requiredRemarks
idUnique ROR ID for the organizationStringTRUETRUE
nameThe primary name of the organizationStringTRUETRUE
email_addressA contact mail address for the organizationStringFALSEFALSEDeprecated field - Not actively curating
ip_addressesIP address(es) associated with the organizationArrayFALSEFALSEDeprecated field - Not actively curating
establishedYear the organization was established (CE)NumberTRUEFALSE
typesOrganization typeArrayTRUETRUEAllowed types: Education, Healthcare, Company, Archive, Nonprofit, Government, Facility, Other
relationshipsRelated organizations in RORArrayTRUEFALSEAllowed relationship types: Parent, Child, Related, Predecessor, Successor
addressesThe organization's locationArrayTRUETRUE
linksOfficial website of the organizationArrayTRUEFALSE
aliasesOther names the organization is known byArrayTRUEFALSE
acronymsAcronyms or initialisms for the organization nameArrayTRUEFALSE
statusWhether the organization is active or notStringTRUETRUEAllowed values: Active, Inactive, Withdrawn
wikipedia_urlWikipedia link for the organizationStringTRUEFALSE
labelsName(s) for the organization in other language(s)ArrayTRUEFALSE
countryCountry where organization is locatedObjectTRUETRUE
external_idsOther identifiers for the organizationArrayTRUEFALSEAllowed external IDs: Crossref Funder ID (FundRef), ISNI, Wikidata. Other external IDs not actively curated include GRID, OrgRef, HESA, UCAS, UKPRN, CNRS.


All available fields and subfields

See also the longer list of available fields and subfields in the ROR record schema that can be searched using the API advanced search.

Definitions and policies for specific metadata elements

* indicates a value is required


The official name of the organization used for affiliation purposes (this may be different than the organization's legal name).

Only one name can be included in the primary name field. ROR metadata includes additional fields (alias, labels, acronym) for other versions of an organization’s name so that these versions of the name can also be represented in the metadata record and so that the organization can be discoverable in the registry no matter which version of a name is input by a user in searches and API queries.

The primary name field defaults to English when an English version of an organization’s name is available, but primary names may also be in non-English languages.

ROR metadata can support multiple languages and character sets. However, the primary name field uses Latin (Roman) characters only.

The primary data source for the organization name and formatting thereof is the organization's website.

alias, labels

alias is used for one or more alternate forms of the organization name that may be used for affiliation purposes but are not considered the primary name according to official organization policy and/or for the purposes of ROR metadata handling. This field may include both current and historical name variants. ROR does not currently identify which aliases are current versus historical (this is something to address in future iterations of the ROR schema).

labels displays versions of the organization name in one or more languages other than that used in the primary name field, with a corresponding language tag based on the two-letter ISO-639 code.


One or more official acronyms or initialisms for the organization, typically consisting of the first letters of the words in the organization name (e.g., UCLA for “University of California, Los Angeles”).


Indication of whether the organization is active or not, based on a controlled list of status values. Allowed status values:

active: An organization that is actively producing research outputs.

inactive: An organization that has ceased operation or producing research outputs.

withdrawn: A record that was created in error or determined by the ROR curation team to no longer be in scope for the registry.

A record with a status of inactive or withdrawn may have one or more successor organizations listed in its relationships. Successor relationships indicate that another organization continues the work of an organization that has become inactive or has been withdrawn. See relationships below for more information.

Note: Prior to 1 Dec 2022, all records had a status of active. Read more about this change in the Dec 1 release notes


The primary website of the organization. Only one URL should be associated with the record.

In the case of websites with translated versions that use a language suffix like “/en”, the generic URL (without the language suffix) is used as long as the website resolves without it. Otherwise, the English version will be used.


The type of organization based on a controlled list of categories. An organization always has a type. ROR metadata can support multiple types for a given organization, but in most cases, there will just be one type associated with the organization.

Based on the available information about the organization, curators will use their judgement in determining the appropriate category to assign.

Allowed types:

Education: A university or similar institution involved in providing education and educating/employing researchers

Healthcare: A medical care facility such as hospital or medical clinic. Excludes medical schools, which should be categorized as “Education”.

Company: A private for-profit corporate entity involved in conducting or sponsoring research.

Archive: An organization involved in stewarding research and cultural heritage materials. Includes libraries, museums, and zoos.

Nonprofit: A non-profit and non-governmental organization involved in conducting or funding research.

Government: An organization that is part of or operated by a national or regional government and that conducts or supports research.

Facility: A specialized facility where research takes place, such as a laboratory or telescope or dedicated research area.

Other: Use this category for any organization that does not fit the categories above.


Location details for the organization. Location data comes from GeoNames.

A city or specified location is required to populate corresponding data from GeoNames, such as latitude/longitude coordinates, state/province/region, and country.


Other identifiers for the organization (if available).

ROR maps its IDs to the following other identifiers: GRID, Wikidata, ISNI, and Crossref Funder Registry (formerly “Fundref”).

There are additional IDs in the existing ROR metadata that are primarily legacy identifiers. These will not be actively curated in new records for the time being: OrgRef, UCAS, CNRS, HESA, UKPRN.


One or more organizations that the organization is related to.

Five types of relations are supported: Parent, Child, Related, Predecessor and Successor. An organization can have multiple relationships but each relationship must be classified as Parent, Child, Related, Predecessor or Successor.

Given that ROR’s scope is top-level organizations, the relationships captured in ROR are meant solely to describe relations between top-level organizations, such as a university and an associated hospital.

Inverse relationships

Parent, Child and Related types must have corresponding relationships in the related record, except in the case of records with status inactive or withdrawn. For example, if Organization A's record contains a relationship to Organization B with type Parent (and both records have status active), Organization B's record must contain a corresponding relationship to Organization A with type Child.

Predecessor and Successor types may optionally contain corresponding relationships in the related records, but they are not required. For example, if Organization A becomes inactive and contains a relationship to Organization B with type Successor, Organization A may or may not contain a corresponding relationship to Organization A with type Predecessor.

Relationships to inactive records

Records with status active cannot contain relationships to records with status inactive or withdrawn, except for relationships with type Predecessor.

Records with status inactive or withdrawn may have relationships to records with status active, for the sake of preserving the record data at the time the record status was changed to inactive or withdrawn. These are not considering current relationships and do not require corresponding relationships in related records.


The year the organization was established, written as four digits (YYYY).

Example record

See the JSON structure in an example organization record.

   "name":"PSL Research University",
         "label":"ESPCI Paris",
         "label":"Subcellular Structure and Cellular Dynamics",
         "label":"École Pratique des Hautes Études",
               "attribution":"Data from under a CC-BY 3.0 license",
               "name":"ÎLE DE FRANCE",
               "name":"Île de France",
      "Université PSL"
         "label":"Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres",
            "0000 0004 1784 3645"

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