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Following the convergence of the eagle-i and VIVO ontologies into a combined VIVO-ISF ontology in 2013, a manual extraction from VIVO-ISF to produce the “VIVO Core” ontology has been used for VIVO 1.6 through 1.10.0.  Changing the VIVO Core ontology between VIVO 1.5 to VIVO 1.6 had significant impact on the VIVO community.  Some sites never upgraded.  As a result, no ontology changes have been made since 2013. In 2015, OpenRIF, an open source organization, was created to maintain and develop the VIVO-ISF.  Several commits have been made to the OpenRIF repository, but none involving the VIVO Core.

  • What is the purpose of any ontology improvement?  What kinds of improvements are there?  Why would any improvements be needed?  What impacts would ontology changes have on the community?  How can we know the impact of any particular ontology change?

  • If we were great at ontology improvement, what form would that greatness take?  What would be included?  Can you picture a world in which we were great at ontological improvement?  What would that world look like?

  • How would we get from where we are now to what we want?  What would we do first?


  1. A description of the scope of VIVO and its ontologies in content & quality.  In order to ensure that the scope is well-defined, it might help to collect local ontology extensions from individual implementations and see if there is a common need that VIVO doesn't address.
  2. Develop a process for reporting ontology needs.  Currently there are several places this might be done.  We should have a place that is sufficient for the work and can be shared broadly.
  3. Make two ontology changes (one relatively easy, and one that would require a change in the software) and then deliver a technical plan and a communication plan to support these changes.

Suggested schedule

 We plan to meet every other week. We will determine deliverables and a timeline for producing the deliverables.


Mike Conlon, Marijane White, Brian Lowe, Christian Hauschke, Matt Mayernik, Tatiana Walther, Tenille Johnson, Juliane Schneider, Muhammad Javed, Benjamin Gross, Dong Joon (DJ) Lee, Damaris Murry, Linda Rowan, Huda Khan, Violeta Ilik, Anna Kasprzik, Ralph O'Flinn.

Meeting Times and Webex link

Every other Tuesday at 10 AM US Eastern Time.  Zoom link is here.  See Meeting Times Around the World for conversion to your local time.

Task Force Resources

Task Force Work Products