Schema versions

Community feedback

In the autumn of 2022, ROR asked for community feedback on plans for versioning the ROR metadata schema and API.

Schema versioning

The ROR metadata schema and API will be versioned in lockstep, meaning that when a new major schema version is introduced, the API version will also be incremented so that users can unambiguously request a response in a specific schema version. Read more about API versioning.

The ROR metadata schema will use semantic versioning:

  • A minor version (ex, X.1, X.2, etc) will be incremented when non-breaking changes are made, such as adding an element.
  • A major version (ex, 1.X, 2.X, etc) will be incremented when breaking changes are made, such as removing or restructuring an element, changing the structure or data type of a schema element (e.g., changing a single value to an array), or emoving items from controlled lists of allowed values.

Changes that do not require versioning include adding items to controlled lists of allowed values, e.g., adding a new type value).

Deploying new schema versions

No more than 1 new major schema version will be released each year, and ROR will not seek to release a major version each year, unless there's need for it. It's very likely that there will be several years between major version releases.

New versions will be made available in the ROR staging environment for approximately 1 month prior to production release. Users will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the technical implementation of the new schema version via ROR communication channels, such as the ROR Technical forum.

Supporting and sunsetting previous schema versions

When a new version is deployed to production, any supported previous versions will continue to be supported until their planned sunset date. This may sometimes result in supporting 3 versions concurrently.

Plans to sunset a previous version will be announced at least 1 year prior to the planned sunset date, via the ROR community meetings and other communication channels such as the ROR blog, Mastodon, the PID Forum, the Crossref Community forum, and the ROR Technical forum. Regular reminders will continue prior to the sunset date.

Schema version implementation

Schema files are stored in ror-schema. When a new schema version is created, a corresponding new file will be created and named ror-schema-X.X.json.  

Previous schema files will not be deleted.

Data dumps will be created for all currently supported schema versions (typically 2 versions, but possibly 3 versions if a new schema version has recently been released

Data dumps will continue to be added to a single Zenodo record as versions, versioned based on the snapshot date.