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May 8, 2015, 1 PM EST


Steering Group Members

Dean B. KrafftRobert H. McDonaldMike ConlonJon Corson-Rikert (star)Kristi HolmesMelissa HaendelPaul Albertdebra hanken kurtz

(star)= note taker


Jonathan Markow

Dial-In Number:  (209) 647-1600, Participant code: 117433#


1Review updates5 minAll
2Vitro, VIVO and ontology20 minMelissa
3Nature and Ontology10 minMelissa
4VIVO Communications Procedure10 minMike and Kristi
5VIVO flyer and white paper10 minMike
6Future topics5 minAll



  1. Review Updates
    • Working Group chairs will meet with steering committee.  Will no longer meet separately as "management team."  Wiki updated to reflect the change.  Next meeting May 29.
    •  From : On January 15, 2015, Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group / Nature Publishing Group and Springer Science+Business Media announced a merger.[2] It is one of the largest English-language publishers, formerly known a the "Big 6", now known as the "Big Five”.  The merger was completed May 6.  Digital Science is part of Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. So is Nature.
    • Proposed revision of the VIVO charter (to version 1.1)  See  Agenda item for steering, then leadership meeting
    • VIVO Updates as a weekly email to the community.  See
    • Version 1.8 communication snafu – unclear who would communicate to which groups when.  Procedures are in development (see to avoid a recurrence
    • 2015 VIVO Site Survey – Paul and Mike working on revision – will be shorter to increase response rate
    • Asset task force will share inventory work to date with community in VIVO updates.
    • A draft communications procedure is available.  See
    • Search committee for the tech lead position has begun screening candidates this week – a total of 5 by mid-week, followed by a search committee meeting to decide next steps
  2. Vitro, VIVO and Ontology
    • A lot of questions lately – one of the first things we may want our new technology director to do is to make it more clear what our whole plan is for how the whole architecture stack relates to the ontology, and how that gets coordinated with development
    • A fair number of VIVO instances not up to date with the ontology
    • The release files are manually created
    • There's confusion about the difference between the the ontology used in the VIVO application and the larger VIVO-ISF ontology (covering eagle-i)
    • There are many local extensions
      • People are making extensions for very good reasons – we need to work with them so we do have an ontology that can be a data standard and can grow
    • How do we create an open ontology process, how to contribute to VIVO-ISF.  How to asses and fold in extensions
    • Need automation to drive VIVO from the ontology
      • Don't have a full stack architecture that leverages the VIVO-ISF, this limits contribution
      • Make it easy to migrate data when the ontology changes
      • Make it easy for the interface to take up new elements in the ontology
      • how do you produce the files that drive VIVO
      • how do you make the VIVO application less dependent on ontology changes
      • need to approach at all levels of the stack
    • Need to develop messaging around VIVO and the ontology
      • The world needs an open ontology capable of representing the scholarship of the world
      • NIH and is in charge of building the NIH research profiling system that will be driving the NIH Commons.  Would be a huge win to have VIVO-ISF used for that
      • We need to say we have the answer, we have the model.  Lots of good work to do.
    • Would be good to have better documentation and visualization to establish better understanding of the VIVO-ISF and how it's distinct from but used by the VIVO application
    • Need to understand these issues as a community and describe them naturally in all discussions about VIVO
    • Need to be more supportive of people using it to analyze data. Eg, a mashup competition to highlight the utility of the data and the ontology and application together
  3. Nature Publishing and ontology.  Nature recently created some ontologies and promoted others in a an effort to enter the conversations regarding representing science and scholars
    • VIVO community member has already emailed them to ask about why not using VIVO-ISF
    • Relates to the CRediT work and the Force 11 task force on attribution
    • Need a clear, full view of how the VIVO application is a connector for the flow of data from the person to the publisher and other places
    • Need to communicate that message clearly
    • Nature is part of McMillan, as is Digital Science (a different arm of the company)
  4. Communications procedure
    • Continuing incidents regarding VIVO communications.  Procedural issues.
      • Things coming out for the wrong people, or at the wrong time, or in the wrong way
      • Example: Leadership group was not the first group to hear about the 1.8 release
    • Draft procedure available in the wiki here
    • Following discussion, the steering committee approved the new procedure
    • Related issue regarding the run-up to 1.8, involvement of the community in testing.  Seemed quiet.
      • Special listserv for people to be notified of release testing
      • In the future send announcements regarding release testing to the whole community
  5. VIVO Flyer and white paper
    • A 2-pager to have available for mailings and at meetings
      • We have one that needs to be updated
      • The way the current one is written is well conceived but material needs to be replaced
      • Mike will draft, SG review/edit
    • Also create a white paper
      • 3-5 pages
      • Academic format
      • Figures, references
      • Institutional use cases, concrete examples, for senior decision makers regarding the value proposition
      • Cornell had an academic piece on VIVO back in '08-'09
      • Florida created a local white paper
    • Additional white papers
      • Partnering with our good collaborators
      • Digital Science and Symplectic frequently do white papers like this
      • Converis another example
    • And an academic paper
      • People need a good, strong, more current VIVO paper to cite
      • Is there a receptive journal?
      • Perhaps a PLoS outlet.  In the spirit of VIVO
      • PLoS Journals have an open API that could provide altmetrics for their papers in VIVO.  Similar to ORCID API

Action Items

  • Mike will draft a new flyer.
  • SG will review/edit/approve flyer
  • Mike will plan white paper, consider PLoS outlets