New task forces forming. Three new task forces are forming.  If you are interested in helping with any of these efforts, please contact the task force members.

  1. VIVO Conference Planning Task Force.  Please join Alex Viggio, 2017 VIVO Conference Chair, and Violeta Ilik, 2017 VIVO Conference Program Chair, in planning and preparing for the next VIVO conference.  The conference planning task force "does everything" needed to put on the conference.  The work promises to be fun and interesting!
  2. Data Loader Task Force.  A group is forming to design and build a simple data loader for VIVO.  Given a spreadsheet of people, the loader will create or update the people in VIVO, as well as collect their PubMed and/or Web of Science publications and add or update the publications in VIVO.  Using a single spreadsheet as input, the data loader will create and maintain a VIVO site of people and their publications.  Sound interesting?  Please plan on joining the task force.
  3. VIVO Camp Task Force.  The VIVO community is growing and maturing.  New sites, and sites considering VIVO, need an opportunity for an introduction to the world of VIVO.  We would like to have a two or three day event with 4-5 VIVO instructors where sites could get an immersive experience, and share thoughts and questions with other sites considering VIVO.  Through a camp experience, we hope to grow the community of sites.  The VIVO Camp Task Force will create a business model, and curriculum, as well as identify a location, instructors and materials for a potential camp in the spring of 2017.  If you are interested in helping sites considering VIVO, please join the task force.

VIVO Technical Specs.  VIVO has a new technical specifications document.  The two-sided PDF handout summarizes VIVO from a technical point of view – what it consists of, what is required to run it, what does it do.  We hope the document will be useful in discussions regarding the suitability of VIVO as software at your institution.  You can find the technical specs on the VIVO web site, and links to the specs in the VIVO wiki on the homepage.

Introducing data packages.  VIVO is about data – data about the scholarship at an institution.  VIVO data is linked, and these links refer to other data that may be about the world of scholarship, rather than the scholarship of the institution.  For example, your data may refer to other research institutions around the world – perhaps your faculty members obtained degrees at other institutions, received grants from other institutions, had positions at other institutions.  To date, each VIVO site has been recreating data about the research institutions of the world in order to link data about their scholarship to these data about research organizations.  This approach has several issues. First, there is tremendous duplication of effort.  Each VIVO site is creating similar data regarding the research institutions of the world.  Second, the data each VIVO site creates has local URLs for each of the research institutions it creates and curates.  When VIVO data is combined, the same research institution will have many different URLs and will need to be reconciled.  Third, the data that is being created is secondary to the goal of the institution's VIVO – to represent the institution's scholarship.  The secondary nature of the work is unnecessary effort – why can't the data be provided so that we can all use it?  Provided data might be better than what we could create locally.  As the primary work of the provider, the data might contain persistent identifiers, and other attributes, and be curated at a level higher than what might be done locally.

OpenVIVO explored these ideas, identifying useful sets of data that might be offered as "packages" – simple one file collections of RDF represented using VIVO-ISF that can be loaded into a local VIVO, and refreshed when the provider provides updates.  OpenVIVO worked with Digital Science to create a data package from their data of the research institutions of the world.  You can find their data at  You can find an RDF data package of their data at

Data packages can be loaded into VIVO using the existing "filegraph" mechanism.  The process is described in the documentation here.

We hope to identify other providers of data that can be made into data packages and offered to the VIVO community for use in their VIVOs.  If you would like to be a data provider, or know of sets of data that would be useful to the VIVO community, please let us know.  Use of data packages should provide a simple way to share data, avoid duplication of effort, align data across VIVOs and improve the data quality in each VIVO.

Community input for VIVO 1.10.  The Outreach and Engagement Interest Group will have a call this Thursday to discuss VIVO 1.10.0 Release Planning.  We are often asked "how does the VIVO project decide what will be in future versions of the software?"  As a member supported, open source, community developed software project, we have a governance process by which decisions are made.  The community expresses its interests through the interest groups and via the email lists,  the governance groups approve directions, various supporters commit to participating in various development activities, the committers group approves changes to the software.  The process is described in the VIVO Roadmap Process.  You can always find the VIVO Roadmap Process in the upper left hand corner of the VIVO wiki, along with the VIVO Project Charter v 1.1 and VIVO Strategic Plan 2015-2016.  The strategic plan will soon be updated.  Expect to see more about that in the weeks ahead.

Please join us this Thursday at 1 PM eastern via Webex to participate in community input to VIVO 1.10.0 Release Planning.



Mike Conlon 
VIVO Project Director

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