Whoa, what a sprint  Last week we had a sprint for newcomers to the VIVO project.  We set a new record for participation in a sprint (21).  I want to thank all the newcomers from all over the world.  We had major efforts in internationalization, search technology, bug fixes, documentation, build process, user experience, and product evolution.  We had new teams with multiple participants join from George Washington University, Texas A&M, and Duke University.  And we had many "old hands" available to answer questions, and provide assistance.  The group worked on more than 50 tickets, closing 20.  And it was just a one week sprint!  We had a great closing session with many good ideas about how to improve development practices, provide assistance for new developers, and organize future sprints.  So many good ideas.  So much good work.  So good to meet and have a chance to work with so many talented good people!

RDA.  It was a busy RDA in Gaborone Botswana:

  • VIVO was named in an RDA proposal for modeling attribution
  • VIVO was recognized in work being done by the Provenance WG
  • VIVO was discussed in the context of persistent identifiers for machines by the PIDINST WG
  • I participated in the work of the Data Foundations and Terminology workgroup, and the FAIR sharing workgroup
  • I was able to personally update many colleagues on the progress VIVO has made over the past year, including the organizers of the spring 2019 plenary in Philadelphia.  We have lots of VIVO folks in the Philadelphia area.  Perhaps we can plan a meet-up.

VIVO continues to gain mindshare on those working on metadata for research, particularly metadata for representing people and their scholarly works.

Congratulations to Barend Mons!  Dr. Professor Barend Mons of the University of Leiden, creator of the FAIR acronym, director of GoFAIR, past chair of the High Level Expert Group for the European Open Science Cloud and a former keynote at the second VIVO Conference (Washington DC, 2011) was elected president of Codata, the Committee on Data of the International Council for Science to serve a four year term.  It was a pleasure to catch up with Barend at RDA.  Congratulations Barend!

Ontology Interest Group  Interested in ontology?  We have a group for you!  Not sure what ontology is, or why it's important?  Stop by and find out.  The Ontology Interest Group meets every other Thursday at 10 AM US Eastern time via Zoom.  The ontologists discuss the representation of scholarship as an ontology, study and incorporate the work of others, and create models and an ontology that can be used across systems and applications.  Developers stop by to consider how the ontology might be used in software.  The discussions are always open.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  Some of the issues that have been discussed recently include:

  • Representation of identifiers, including ORCiD, DOI, and others
  • What identifiers to include in VIVO
  • How to manage ontological change
  • Licenses for ontology
  • Representation of translations, and multiple languages
  • Representation of projects and the relationship of projects to grants
  • Representation of works in the performing and visual arts
  • What constitutes ontology and what constitutes annotation for the purpose of supporting applications
  • Fundamental issues regarding the representation of scholarly works

From time to time, the ontologists will spin off a group to work on a particular problem.  And this may result in a proposed design for some extension or revision of the ontology.

If you are interested, please join the ontology channel on Slack, and the interest group meetings.

National Forum on Expert Finder Systems  A new conference is being organized for Feb 28 - March 1 in Orlando, Florida.  The National Forum on Expert Finding Systems is sponsored by Elsevier.  From their web site:

Expert finder systems (EFS) have been serving universities, businesses, and the research community for more than two decades. However, there are still no formal venues for EFS stakeholders to network, learn from each other, and help steer the future of this dynamic field

Many of the organizers have a background in the VIVO community.  Should be interesting.



Mike Conlon 
VIVO Project Director

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