ROR departmental extension and ROR metadata viewer

A group of us have been discussing how to extend ROR to apply PIDs that identify subunits of organizations (such as schools and departments, research units, etc.) since ROR itself focuses only on “top-level” affiliations. If you are interested in being involved in this you are welcome to join the #department-level channel on ROR slack.

We had initially planned a separate github-managed scheme, documented here:

Subsequently we’ve been investigating using Wikidata as the main data source for organizational subunits. A demo viewer for both the github-managed data and the Wikidata approach is online here:

We talked about this at PIDapalooza in January; recent work by UC Davis has uncovered several additional advantages to the Wikidata approach - in particular the variety of already-built tools available to manage and monitor their data entries.

Since the ROR extension viewer was already pulling metadata from the ROR API for display, I recently updated it to add support to directly view ROR metadata - see In particular this shows the hierarchy already contained within ROR, which isn’t directly shown in the current ROR user interface.

Since I was reminded about PID Forum earlier today I thought I should share here in what’s been going on!


Hi. Hierarchy can be tricky, the one existing for Russian Academy of Science here ROR Wikidata Extension for 05qrfxd25/Q83172 is much confusing. ROR needs to define the hierarchy type (1 - juridicial subsidiary/branch, 2 - faculty/structural unit, 3 - territorial affiliate, 4 - other group membership… otherwise, it would be a mixture of different relations and a total mess.

Good comment here. Do you think your concern would be addressed if the type of the “child” institution was featured somehow, without making the relationship different? That is, this is a child of “faculty” type, this is a child which is a “territorial affiliate”, etc.?

Hi, thank you for response and suggestion. I think it would be great to have the different types of relations between ROR entitites. I am currently reviewing all the Russian ROR accounts and to my opinion, the minimal set of relation types should include the following:

(1) governmental hierarchy
In many countries the federal ministries or national agencies have some subordinated state research/clinical entities.

  • 00ghqgy32 is a governing ministry for 04w8z7f34
  • 04y3hfp43 is a governing ministry for 01hgeey64

(2) official subsidiaries and branches
These can act as the individual legal entities within some scope.

  • 04w8z7f34 is a parent for branches 00se1zw92, 05e94de73, 05bbfjb19
  • 02eg1b280 is a branch of 01t6bjk79

(3) structural units, as faculty or library
These from legal point of view are fully owned by the parent account and can not act as a legal entity.

  • 026c02f25 is a structural unit of 00g4bcb66
  • 01rd41j61 is a structural unit of 053mxw461

(4) “part of group” category of relation for other types

  • 02crntj88 is a part of 05t43vz03 (territorial affiliation)
  • 02crntj88 is a part of 05qrfxd25 (supervised by)

Here was a helpful discussion with some suggestions/examples about this in Wikidata Wikidata:Project chat/Archive/2021/01 - Wikidata