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Implementing VIVO requires careful planning of both technical (site/system administration and data curation) and non-technical (policy, management) elements. There is a standing monthly Implementation Call and technical and community email lists. See the VIVO Implementation Resources section below for more information. Please note that institutions implementing VIVO for the purpose of evaluating this solution may find additional resources in the Evaluating VIVO section of this wiki.

Implementation Community

Mailing Lists

See Email Lists for the VIVO email lists and their archives.  Lists are public, hosted by Google Groups, and easy to join.

See the Implementation Calls page for more information, including the schedule, an agenda for the next bi-weekly meeting, and past agendas or meeting minutes.

Implementation Workshops

The following workshops have been held (or are planned) to bring together VIVO implementers. If your institution would like to host a workshop focused on VIVO or related interests like research networking, please contact us using this online form.

Hackathons and Code Sprints

The following hackathons and code sprints have been held (or are planned) to bring together VIVO developers, tools and apps builders, and implementers. If your institution would like to host a hackathon or code sprint focused on VIVO or related interests like research networking, please contact us using this online form.

Contributing to this Wiki

Link to a page discussing how to contribute to the Implementation area of this wiki.

VIVO multi-institutional search

A demonstration search application that indexes linked data across the 7 grant-funded VIVO sites, plus Harvard Profiles, is available at Also see VIVO multi-institutional search features, plans, and timelines.

Implementation Overview

Planning an Implementation

Getting Started

The most important element of your VIVO implementation is your implementation plan. As with any project plan, you will define a scope for the project, identify resources, and establish a timeline.



You will need to decide what data will be in your VIVO. What people will be represented? All faculty? Only those in certain programs? What will be imported regarding the people to be in your VIVO? Where will that data come from? General considerations are described here Data source specifications for implementation. You can see some choices made by some schools here Individual Institution Information. You may need to provide guidance to those entering data. An example of data entry guidance is available: General tips for Entering Organizational Information.


You will need to consider policies applying to your VIVO. Can anyone edit anything? Who will be able to edit what material? How and when will data be removed from VIVO? For a sample policy, see Emergency Removal of Data (Example of Policy)


Technical decisions will need to be made regarding establishing a VIVO site. What operating systems, hardware, tools will be used? How will system changes be managed? How will testing be done? How will security be done? Technical decisions are typically made in the context of other enterprise applications. Please refer to the diagram VIVO Server Setup for an example of the VIVO Infrastructure for a large institute.

Change Management

Introducing VIVO to your institution can be done in many ways. A change management component of your project plan describes how you will communicate VIVO, support its use, promote VIVO. Will you have a big event, a series of introductions? What communication channels? How and when will you introduce VIVO to various constituencies? Who will need training? How will the training be done?


How will decisions be made regarding policy, data and use of VIVO during and after the project? What role witll the stakeholders have? What role will the project manager have?


Who will be responsible for VIVO after it is implemented? What offices will care for its hardware, software, data, policy, governance?

Tips and Suggestions

During this initial planning you may want to explore VIVO.

  • Join the mailing lists. There are three - the ontology, implementation, and development lists.
  • Join the calls.
  • Read the Install Guide, the VIVO 1.2 Data Ingest Guide, and become familiar with this wiki (be aware that some of the material in this wiki may refer to earlier versions of VIVO and Harvester - check the wiki for newer version alerts).
  • Explore the VIVO Virtual Appliance before installing your VIVO instance.
  • Go through the VIVO 1.2 Data Ingest Guide
  • Learn how to add and remove RDF statements. If you're adding RDF via the Add/Remove RDF data tool under Advanced Data Tools (Site Admin) save your RDF file because you can use it to remove the same RDF.
  • Take a look at some SPARQL Resources and the Semantic Web resources page. TODO: add some example queries specific to the data ingest guide.
  • Try the command line harvester examples such as the JDBC Example Script. These examples are located in your Harvester folder (a mysql dump is provided in the example-jdbc folder). The scripts are located at /usr/share/vivo/harvester/example-scripts/ in the VIVO 1.3 VirtualBox appliance.

Executing the Implementation

Getting Started

Executing the project plan is best done by a team, led by an experienced project manager, supported by a strong stakeholders group.

You might include some of the steps below in your project plan.

  1. Kickoff
  2. Creating team support – scheduling, document management
  3. Creating the stakeholders group – leadership, agendas, frequency
  4. Creating the technical environment – establishing servers, loading software, backup, security, testing
  5. Creating the data curation environment – tools, resources, processes, access to institutional data sources
  6. Refining the technical environment – institutional branding, authentication
  7. Ingesting data
  8. Testing
  9. Executing the communication plan – building awareness, interest with faculty
  10. Executing transition to operations and project end
  11. Wrap-up and lessons learned
  12. Celebration!

Tips and Suggestions

TODO: Document actual lessons learned during VIVO implementation...

Having problems? Visit the Troubleshooting page.

Maintaining an Implementation

Following your implementation, you will be operating VIVO as a resource for your institution. VIVO will need to be patched and upgraded, as with any software. There will be requests for adding capability to your VIVO – both new ideas for data, as well as new idea for software features.

Requests for new data should be handled locally. You should develop methods for referring such questions to appropriate governance processes and decision makers. If the request appears to involve extensions to the ontology, you may wish to discuss these changes with other members of the VIVO community. Some changes may be incorporated in future releases of the VIVO core ontology.

Requests for software features may be handled locally, or may be referred to the the VIVO community for inclusion in future releases.

Implementation Documentation


How To's

External Web Pages