Old Release

This documentation relates to an old version of VIVO, version 1.9.x. Looking for another version? See all documentation.


VIVO is an enterprise class software system relying on numerous open source software components.  Fundamentally, VIVO relies on Vitro (see below).  VIVO adds a collection of ontologies (see Ontology Reference) to represent data about scholarship.


Vitro is an open source, general purpose, semantic web engine. It is the application development platform underlying VIVO. Vitro has no domain knowledge. Given ontologies regarding a domain, Vitro supports the editing of the ontology, creation of individuals, management of individuals on "pages" which it generates, organization of individuals into "class groups," indexing, search, faceted browsing, query, import, and export. Vitro has been used to manage collections of clinical trials, spaceships, library catalogs, datasets, and many more.

VIVO is Vitro with an ontology for representing scholarship, and a set of displays and visualizations that support the use of data for expert finding, team building, assessment, and other VIVO use cases.

Vitro can be built an operated independently of VIVO.  VIVO is completely dependent on Vitro.


VIVO is a customized Vitro.  The table below shows how VIVO compares to Vitro.




General-purpose tool for working with Semantic Data

Specialized tool for Research Networking


No ontology

Includes an ontology (VIVO-ISF) for Research Networking


Minimal theme

Elaborate theme, display and editing are customized for the ontology

Display RulesDefault display rules

Annotations are used to:

  • Assign data properties to groups
  • Arrange property groups on the page
Form editingDefault editing formsEditing is customized to the ontology
Search IndexDefault search indexSearch index contains additional fields specific to VIVO

Default functionality

Additional functionality: visualizations, interface to Harvester, QR codes, etc.

Component View

VIVO, with Vitro, as "made" out of components, including other open source software components.  The figure below shows the various software components that are used in a VIVO/Vitro system.

Additional Resources

  • No labels