Research Object Crate (RO-Crate) utilities for rendering a html representation

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import roCrateHtmlJs from '';


ro-crate : Research Object Crate HTML preview generation

This nodejs repository has code for generating HTML previews for Research Object Crates (RO-Crate)

RO-Crates are data packages consisting of a folder/directory of content with a JSON-LD manifest known as an RO-Crate Metadata File, which has the filename ro-crate-metadata.json in the root folder. RO-Crates also should have an RO-Crate Website which is a local set of web resources, with an index page ro-crate-preview.html.

This library consists of tools to create an RO-Crate Website for a crate, from the RO-Crate Metadata File.

There are two approaches to this:

  • rochtml is a script that creates an HTML page that summarizes the RO-Crate root dataset (which is always a Dataset object expressed in JSONLD) and then dynamically renders details about other entities, both Data Entities (files, datasets and other local and remote streams of data) and Contextual Entities (addition information about data provenance such how files were created, by whom and where) described in the crate. This script creates a single, small HTML file.

  • rocsite is a script that creates a multi page RO-Crate Website* using some confguration.

In most cases rochtml is the most appropriate tool unless the crate you are dealing with is very large (more than 5000 entities) or is largely made up of contextual entities such as historical events, people etc.


To install this from npm type:

npm install ro-crate-html-js


To make changes to this code:

  • Download this repository:
git clone
cd ro-crate-htmljs
  • Install it and link the commandline commands:
npm install .
npm link --local

Commandline HTML rendering

Dynamic, generic HTML for ANY crate

To render HTML for an RO-Crate, use rochtml:

rochtml test_data/sample-ro-crate-metadata.json

The script will create an HTML page:


The HTML page has a complete copy of the RO-Crate metadata file's JSON-LD content in a <script> element in the <head>, and references the compiled rendering script that can then dynamically generate web-views of the RO-Crate metadata: ro-crate-dynamic.js. This is available via the Content Distribution Network (CDN) UNPKG which uses the NPM repository:

To compile the rendering script for an RO-Crate HTML file (ro-crate-preview.html):

browserify lib/entry.js -o dist/ro-crate-dynamic.js

Make crates that contain other crates w/ an HTML page

To make a crate that 'wraps' a series of crates that are in sub directories into a container crate:

metacrate  -d directory_with_crates_in -n "Sample RO-Crates" -t "This RO-Crate links to other crates"

Create a multi-page site

To create a RO-Crate multi-page HTML website for a crate, use rocsite - this requires some fairly complicated configuration which is not yet documented, but you can look at an example in the Heurist2ro-crate project:

To compile the rendering script for the entry point to a multi-page HTML site RO-Crate HTML file (ro-crate-preview.html):

watchify lib/standAloneEntry.js -o dist/ro-crate-dynamic-multipage.js

See the MAKEFILE for a commands that reference an configuration file.

TODO: Explain this properly.

Generate an HTML or Markdown vocab file from a a crate

For crates that have Class or Property definitions you can generate an HTML fragment that can be published on the web.

rocschema <path-to-crate>

Will create a markdown file that serves are rudimentary documentation. Add --html for HTML.

TODO: Add examples.