VIVO Scholar is under development. The beta version is planned to be released in spring of 2020.


The VIVO Scholar Task Force addresses one of the goals in the Product Direction for 2019, "Modernize the Presentation Layer," which is a priority for many existing and prospective VIVO implementers. VIVO Scholar builds on the work of the Product Evolution Task Force, employing many of the ideas and technologies explored by that group. VIVO Scholar is also informed by the work of participants in the Architectural Fly-in Meeting held in January 2019.


VIVO Scholar consists of these components:

Architectural diagram

Goals and benefits


VIVO Scholar is being designed to be:

  • Fast–-when loading pages and when retrieving VIVO data in near real-time
  • Developer-friendly so it's easy to implement and customize
  • Attractive and modern
  • Responsive to many devices and accessible for users with disabilities

Existing VIVO implementations can:

  • Add VIVO Scholar to their VIVO project and customize it to their institution OR
  • Develop their own user interface using the data in the GraphQL endpoint

New VIVO implementations can:

  • Install VIVO and VIVO Scholar, using VIVO to edit data and permissions OR
  • Install VIVO and develop their own user interface using the GraphQL endpoint

Institutional benefits

Aside from being fast, modern, attractive, responsive, and easily-customized, VIVO Scholar offers an important component for institutions: the GraphQL endpoint.

The GraphQL endpoint works like VIVO widgets does for many institutions such as Duke; with GraphQL, developers can quickly and easily feed data to their own websites. 

  • At Duke, almost 85% of faculty have department profiles using VIVO data.
  • Faculty and staff are very motivated to update their local websites, which updates VIVO.
  • Widgets save web developers significant time by re-using data with little development effort.
  • VIVO provides an institutional workflow for faculty to update their data in one place. "Update once, use everywhere."

Questions about VIVO Scholar? FAQs

What’s the difference between VIVO and VIVO Scholar? 

VIVO Scholar will be a separate application that will work with your current VIVO implementation. VIVO Scholar will be optional -- VIVO can be used without it. VIVO Scholar can be installed with VIVO to provide an easily-customized front end and a developer-friendly API for sharing data.

Will all sites use VIVO Scholar?

No, some implementations will continue to use VIVO without VIVO Scholar. VIVO Scholar will be optional.

When will VIVO Scholar be available for testing?  For production?

Some components of VIVO Scholar are available for exploring now, including the Scholars Discovery middleware and the GraphQL endpoint. The beta version of VIVO Scholar will be ready in June 2020. The production version depends on the community; we'll need help testing and implementing the beta version in order to refine it for production. For more info, please see our Development plans page. Keep up with progress by checking out the demo VIVO Scholar at

Will VIVO Scholar use existing VIVO data?  How?

The Scholars Discovery middleware works with an existing VIVO to load data into the Solr index and the GraphQL endpoint. Data is displayed in the VIVO Scholar user interface.

Will VIVO Scholar be internationalized?

For the first version, VIVO Scholar will use the same language files as VIVO, so that page headings and labels will be displayed in supported languages. We hope to provide multi-language support in future versions of VIVO Scholar – we will need the community's help.

Will VIVO Scholar edit data?

No, VIVO Scholar is read-only. Data will be edited as it currently is in the existing VIVO implementation. Data editing processes differ with each implementations. Some VIVOs don't allow data to be edited, but some rely on users to enter data manually into VIVO or another application like Symplectic Elements.

Will VIVO Scholar replace VIVO?

No, VIVO is not going away. If accepted by the community, VIVO Scholar will join the VIVO Project’s suite of applications for representing scholarship, any of which can be used together or separately. All of these applications will continue to be upgraded and enhanced to meet the diverse needs of the VIVO community:

VIVO represents scholars and their scholarship using the VIVO ontology and Vitro.

Vitro is a general-purpose, semantic web platform that can create web pages using any ontology -- for example, to show items in a collection of artifacts.

The VIVO ontology, with components from related ontologies, represents scholars and scholarship as a collection of RDF triples. The VIVO ontology can be used with any ontology-based software and any triple store.

VIVO Scholar (under development) will display scholarly profiles with data maintained in VIVO and simplify sharing VIVO data with other websites and systems.

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