Telling VIVO Stories at Duke University with Julia Trimmer

“Telling VIVO Stories” is a community-led initiative aimed at introducing project leaders and their ideas to one another while providing details about VIVO implementations for the community and beyond. The following interview includes personal observations that may not represent the opinions and views of Duke University or the VIVO Project. Carol Minton Morris from DuraSpace interviewed Julia Trimmer from Duke University to learn about Scholars@Duke.

What’s your role with VIVO at your organization or institution?

I previously worked as a business analyst and project manager in a development group in Duke’s health system. We developed faculty systems for the Duke School of Medicine and integrated institutional data into those systems. I joined the Provost’s Office in 2007 and we created a faculty appointments system by merging data from two legacy systems. The day after we rolled out that system, we started planning what we called the “faculty activities” system. We spent six months looking at available tools and talked to several vendors -- they all mentioned compatibility with VIVO. We liked VIVO, especially that it was open source and multi-institutional. We went to the first VIVO conference six years ago and never looked back.

Tell me a little about your organization or institution.

Duke University has been a private research university for more than a hundred years. We enroll 6,500 undergraduate and 8,000 graduate students from almost every state and many foreign countries. Our faculty are incredible -- many are doing interdisciplinary work in very disparate fields -- and they are leaders in teaching, research and patient care. We are enthusiastic about supporting their work and honored to help bring their scholarship to the world through Scholars@Duke. We have established a responsive outreach and engagement program featuring multiple solutions for our diverse Duke faculty community that can be found on the Scholars@Duke support page.

Why did you decide on VIVO?

The core VIVO value proposition: “VIVO provides an integrated view of the scholarly work of an organization,” reflects Duke’s values that include a commitment to free access to shared knowledge as well as ongoing outreach, service and volunteerism. We like VIVO’s semantic web technology, the community spirit of collaboration, and a shared sense of contribution to global knowledge and research. Scholars@Duke supports Duke’s open access policy by linking to full-text publications deposited in our open access repository. VIVO’s linked and open data capability, the shared ontology, and the active global community all appeal to the leadership at Duke.

What were your requirements going in?

We had two existing systems that we wanted to replace, so we needed a new system with the same features. We wanted a system that was flexible enough for us to develop and contribute our own additions back to the community. Our developers had worked with open-source communities before, so we felt confident that we could make VIVO work at Duke.

What strategic organizational or institutional goals did VIVO help you meet?

Our key goal was to create public profiles for all Duke faculty in one system; these had to be both automated and customizable. Next, we wanted to share this data with Duke schools so that it populates faculty department profiles automatically. Finally, we want to support Duke’s Open Access Repository and help add full-text publications to it that can be linked to Scholars profiles.

What are your plans for VIVO in the future?

We are adding functionality to improve the subject headings/keywords that we add automatically as well as some advanced search features. Next, we’ll be working on CV functionality.

What is at the top of your VIVO “wish list?”

It would be great to have a search tool that searches all VIVO implementations. Cross site search will enhance profile discoverability and collaboration across all VIVOs.

What advice would you give to other organizations that are planning a VIVO implementation?

Start small with a particular initiative backed by engaged users, a research group or a department or school. It’s best to work with the leadership of your institution-- make sure that you are engaging with people at high levels of the institution including administrators and university librarians, and that you clearly articulate your goals. Start small and aim high. That means keep the first implementation simple but engage broadly across the institution.

DuraSpace Selects Gunter Media Group, Inc. as a Registered Service Provider for VIVO

Winchester, MA  Aug 26, 2015

Gunter Media Group, Inc., an executive management consulting firm that helps libraries, publishers and companies leverage key operational, technical, business and human assets, has become a DuraSpace Registered Service Provider (RSP) for the VIVO Project. Gunter Media Group, Inc.  will provide VIVO related services such as strategic evaluation, project management, installation, search engine optimization and integration for institutions looking to join the VIVO network.

"As a Registered Service Provider for VIVO, Gunter Media Group, Inc. will help ensure that institutions can fully participate in making research and institutional resources available for search, discovery, and analysis,” explained Jonathan Markow, CSO of DuraSpace. “We heartily welcome them to the RSP Program!”

VIVO, an open source, semantic web application and growing global community, is aimed at integrating and sharing information about researchers and institutions to support collaboration and discovery. As an incubated DuraSpace project, VIVO institutions and DuraSpace members now have a greater opportunity to develop related technologies and services across broad academic and scientific communities.

“We are very pleased to a be Registered Service Provider to the VIVO community.  We are looking forward to bringing forth our expertise in building, launching and enhancing the expert networks within the VIVO community,” says Darrell W. Gunter, President & CEO of Gunter Media Group, Inc.

About VIVO

VIVO ( is an open source, open ontology, open process platform for hosting information about the interests, activities and accomplishments of scientists and scholars. VIVO supports open development and integration of science and scholarship through simple, standard semantic web! technologies. VIVO was originally funded by Cornell University and the National Institutes of Health (U24 RR029822) and is currently a community-supported project under the DuraSpace umbrella.

About Gunter Media Group

Gunter Media Group Inc. (GMG, is an executive management consulting company with expertise in business, technical and staff development positioning our clients to achieve maximum growth. GMG specializes in “Big Data” projects utilizing semantic technology, discovery and data visualization. Our methodology focuses on the motto, “The client’s project is delivered on time and on budget”!   We have over 30 years experience in working with the top academic, government and corporate intuitions such as California Digital Library,  University of Toronto, Pfizer, National Institutes of Health, Los Alamos National Labs and Merrill Lynch.  We also have sold and launched many innovative industry leading products;  Dow Jones News Retrieval (Factiva), Elsevier’s ScienceDirect and Scopus, the Collexis Expert Profiles, Reviewer Finder and 

How Does DuraSpace Help?

The DuraSpace ( organization is an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit providing leadership and innovation for open technologies that promote durable, persistent access and discovery of digital data. Our values are expressed in our organizational byline, "Committed to our digital future."

DuraSpace works collaboratively with organizations that use VIVO to advance the design, development and sustainability of the project. As a non-profit, DuraSpace provides technical leadership, sustainability planning, fundraising, community development, marketing and communications, collaborations and strategic partnerships, and administration.


The 6th ANNUAL VIVO CONFERENCE is fast approaching!

Below you will find a few details that should help you with your travels to the conference, what to do when you arrive, and ways to make the most of your time with us next week in Cambridge! Conference Dates: August 12 – 14, 2015

Join us for our planned Networking Events!

Wednesday, August 12
Welcome and Networking Reception5:00 PM – 6:00 PM 
Location: Empress Ballroom
Registration will be open outside of the Empress Ballroom during the reception.Thursday, August 13
Posters & Cocktails5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Location: Charles View Ballroom

We’ve Gone Mobile!

The Guidebook App will bring everything you need to know about the conference schedule right to your phone! This convenient feature will ensure that you never miss an event. From your phone, you can easily look up when and where sessions and events are being held throughout the conference.

You can easily download Guidebook through the Apple App Store or Android Marketplace or visit Once you’ve downloaded the App, simply search for “VIVO”.

Tweet with Us!

We can’t wait to start our networking – but why wait until you arrive in Cambridge? Follow us on Twitter and tweet along with us by using our conference hashtag: #VIVO15. We’ll be sending important conference updates and information, and we encourage you to tell us what you’re looking forward to at the conference by tweeting. Follow us today!

Don't forget to also take advantage of our Birds of a Feather and Lightning Rounds

We have a limited number of rooms available for BoF sessions and Lighting Round talks. These informal discussions will focus on topics of interest decided upon by conference attendees. These sessions will be held in Thomas Paine, Haym Salomon and William Dawes on Thursday & Friday from 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM.

Current booked sessions include a European VIVO meet-up on Thursday and a 2016 VIVO Conference planning session on Friday.

You can sign up for the lightning round talks and reserve space for the BoF sessions at the conference registration desk. Presentations will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis – so don’t delay!

Calling All Sites!

We want to hear from you! We’re launching a brand-new featured session at the conference this year called “VIVO Around the World.” This session enables VIVO implementations and sites producing VIVO-compatible data to share their work. This will be a lightning session where we highlight projects and implementations from near and far. This session builds on the fun and success of the sharing sessions at the annual VIVO Implementation Fests.

Click Here for more details and to submit.

Still need to register? Onsite Registration:

Please stop by to collect your conference materials and name badge at the conference registration desk located in the Workshop Foyer outside of the Thomas Paine room on Wednesday and the President's Ballroom Foyer on Thursday and Friday. Visit us during the following hours:

  • Wednesday: 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Thursday: 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Friday: 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Internet Access:

Wireless internet is available throughout all meeting space, sleeping rooms, and hotel lobby area. Pre-conference workshops are also equipped with wireless internet for all participants on Wednesday, August 12.

Hotel Check in and Checkout:

Hotel Check in is 4:00 PM and Checkout is 12:00 PM. Guests are welcome to check out and store all luggage at the bell stand (located in the main lobby) until their sessions are over.

Hyatt Regency Cambridge 
575 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139
TEL: +1-617-492-1234
Hotel Website:

Transportation Information:

Click here for more information about transportation to and from the hotel.

Hotel Parking:

Parking at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge is $45 overnight for valet parking and $38 overnight for self parking.

Dress Attire:

The attire for the conference is business casual. While we’re expecting sunshine and warm weather in Cambridge, the meeting rooms are often cool so we suggest that you be prepared for air conditioned meeting rooms.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to seeing you! or +1-410-654-5525

....and we're off! #vivo15

The Sixth Annual VIVO Conference kicks off on Wednesday with a full day of workshops, followed by terrific plenary sessions and collaboration opportunities during the conference on Thursday and Friday. Read more about the conference at and don't forget to follow the conference on Twitter at #vivo15.

Key collaboration events include:

  • Welcome reception on Wednesday evening 5:00-6:00 PM in the Empress Ballroom
  • Networking Breakfasts in the Foyer on Thursday and Friday mornings from 7:30-8:30 AM
  • Poster Reception on Thursday evening 5:00-7:00 PM in the Charles View Ballroom (14th floor)
  • Birds of a Feather (BOF) Sessions over lunch on Thursday and Friday

Speaking of the BOFs, we have two sessions currently scheduled (below) and welcome additional sessions.  You can check the BOF schedule at the confernece registration desk. Remember the rooms are available on the first come-first served basis, so please see the Designing Events team at the conference registration desk if you'd like to schedule your own session!

  • Thursday: VIVOs in Europe
  • Friday: 2016 conference planning

Interested in attending? Stop by the registration desk at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge and we'll be happy to help you get registered.

    Calling all sites! VIVO Around the World

    We want to hear from you! We’re launching a brand-new featured session at the conference this year called “VIVO Around the World.” This session enables VIVO implementations and sites producing VIVO-compatible data to share their work.  This will be a lightning session where we highlight projects and implementations from near and far. This session builds on the fun and success of the sharing sessions at the annual VIVO Implementation Fests. 

    Click Here for more details and to submit.

    Register Before August 5th and Save

    It's your last chance to take advantage of the discounted registration rate. Register before August 5th and SAVE $100! With engaging industry experts, breakout sessions, and fun networking events, the Sixth Annual VIVO Conference is a must-attend event. Be sure to Register Today!

    Follow the Conversation

    Follow the conversation about the conference on Twitter at #vivo15

    Register Online Today: Early Bird Registration Ends June 19th

    ...Don't Delay!
 Registration is open and the lowest registration is only available through June 19th  The 2015 program includes content that will help you harness the full potential of research networking, discovery, and open research at-large. This year's presentations, panels, and invited speakers enable you to personalize your VIVO experience and learn about cutting-edge topics by the experts. 

    View the list of 2015 presentations and posters now! You will leave the conference with a greater understanding of VIVO and its capabilities, as well as the value of supporting open-research practices. 

    Don't forget to register for a Pre-Conference Workshop. Sign up to join us for Getting More from Your VIVO: Generating Reports and Functional Datasets for Analysis; Altmetrics 101 - Hands on Introduction to Altmetrics; Awesome Apps to Enhance Your VIVO; or any of the other informative Pre-Conference Workshops planned.

    VIVO Keynote announced: Dr. James Onken

    We are delighted to welcome Dr. James Onken, Senior Advisor to the NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, to deliver a keynote talk at the 2015 VIVO Conference.

    Dr. James Onken is leading a new NIH initiative to develop a semantic NIH Portfolio Analysis and Reporting Data Infrastructure (PARDI) that leverages community data and requirements, including those from the VIVO community.

    Dr. Onken is Senior Advisor to the NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research and Director of the Office of Data Analysis Tools and Systems within the NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER). He has been conducting portfolio analyses and program evaluations at the NIH for over 26 years, holding positions at the National Institute of Mental Health and National Institute of General Medical Sciences before moving to OER. Early in his career, he held positions at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Decisions and Designs, Inc., and the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Dr. Onken holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in psychology from Northwestern University, and an MPH with a concentration in biostatistics from George Washington University.


    Follow the conversation on Twitter at #vivo15


    Registration is now open for the Sixth Annual VIVO Conference. The

    $375 Early Bird registration rate is only available through June 19th.

    • Early Bird: $375; Now through June 19th
    • Regular: $475; June 20th - July 17th
    • Late: $575; July 18th - August 5th
    • Onsite: $625



    If you have any questions, please contact us at  or at +1 410-654-5525.

    Telling VIVO Stories at Colorado University Boulder with Liz Tomich

    “Telling VIVO Stories” is a community-led initiative aimed at introducing project leaders and their ideas to one another while providing VIVO implementation details for the VIVO community and beyond. The following interview includes personal observations that may not represent the opinions and views of Colorado University Boulder or the VIVO Project.

    Julia Trimmer, Duke University, talked with the Liz Tomich at Colorado University Boulder to learn about their VIVO story.

    From research interests to international connections to ORCID IDs–the University of Colorado Boulder never stops improving their VIVO instance. Just look at their About page at Since they rolled out VIVO back in April 2011, they’ve been continually releasing features and data to their users, and they plan to keep going; new enhancements are listed publicly.

    To get CU-Boulder’s VIVO story, I asked Liz Tomich, Director of the Faculty Information System team, how she works with VIVO. Liz guides the development team and sets their priorities. “I represent the business perspective, the perspective of the faculty and the provost; I’m the intermediary between the software engineers and the faculty.” Liz also communicates with the faculty and explains what the team is doing with VIVO. Because the data in VIVO is public, Liz explains that it’s important to make sure that their data sources are good -- the data are complete and represent the faculty well.

    How did CU-Boulder decide to adopt VIVO? A few years ago, people at CU-Boulder started wondering if they could access the research interests in their existing faculty information system. Their communications group began working on a search tool to enable users to find the research interests data that Liz’s group maintained, but this development process became complicated. Meanwhile, Liz and Alex Viggio, who’s now a developer at Symplectic, had heard about VIVO and moved forward quickly. Alex and Liz found VIVO easy to implement, particularly with the faculty and research interests data that they already had. They liked that VIVO was an open source tool, and they saw its potential for sharing and linking to other data sets.

    The CU-Boulder team started small and has gradually added a lot of data and functionality to their VIVO instance, a successful strategy that’s been adopted at other institutions (see what they’ve done for yourself at

    “We’re a small team but are lucky to have people who are enthusiastic about linked data,” explains Liz, and they appreciate being part of a community that “wants to make things happen.” In and around the Boulder area, there are a lot of organizations that want to work together in a number of projects and directions. Liz describes their team’s mission as “serving the faculty member whether that person is on campus, working in a federal lab like NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) or in the field on the other side of the world” and sharing their VIVO data.

    For more background on the CU-Boulder VIVO, read their About page ( If you get a chance to meet the CU-Boulder team, including Liz, Don Elsborg, Nate Prewitt and Vance Howard, be sure to ask them about all the cool things they’re doing with VIVO; you’ll be inspired and you might learn something new.

    Thanks so much for participating in VIVO Stories! This story is an ad hoc VIVO community activity and anyone can participate by interviewing someone who’s working with VIVO and submitting a story. Go to for instructions, and send the finished copy to Julia Trimmer ( and Carol Minton-Morris (

    Telling VIVO Stories at Brown University with Andrew Ashton, Steven McCauley, Jean Rainwater and Ted Lawless

    "Telling VIVO Stories" is a community-led initiative aimed at introducing project leaders and their ideas to one another while providing VIVO implementation details for the VIVO community and beyond. The following interview includes personal observations that may not represent the opinions and views of Brown University or the VIVO Project.

    Julia Trimmer from Duke talked with the VIVO team at Brown University to learn about their VIVO story.

    "What are your roles with VIVO at Brown?"

    Andy Ashton oversees the Library group that maintains their VIVO system, called Researchers@Brown ( and works with other groups across campus who are also involved with the system. Steve McCauley is a programmer who is 100% on VIVO. Ted Lawless, who was on vacation, is a programmer but also works on other projects. Jean Rainwater is the project manager and has been involved in the project since the beginning.

    "Tell me a little about your organization or institution."

    Brown University in Providence Rhode Island is a private university that just celebrated its 250th anniversary. Brown is a research university that's relatively smaller than most, with about 6,000 undergraduate and 3,200 graduate students. Brown was one of the first universities to implement an open curriculum, which many liberal arts colleges have adopted, and only relatively recently have they begun moving beyond their historical focus on undergraduate education to more including more research goals.

    "Why did you decide on VIVO?"

    They needed to replace a legacy faculty system which included a lot of out-of-date data and they hired a consultant to look at options. VIVO came up on top of that exploration.

    "What were your requirements going in?"

    Brown didn't want to get locked into a home-grown system and wanted to invest in a system that would last. There were different requirements at Brown; and "there was a kind of tension between users looking for public-facing research profile system and others looking more for the data to be used for other purposes" like reporting and assessment. Most liked VIVO's data-centric model and also that it was open-source and semantic web-based.

    "What strategic organizational or institutional goals did VIVO help you meet?"

    Brown's goal for their VIVO is expressing, through the public-facing profiles, what the Brown researchers have been doing. Ted Lawless created a profile manager editing interface for Brown's VIVO implementation, which has been really successful for them.

    Also, Steve did a lot of work to accommodate the output and scholarship of Brown's prominent and vocal faculty in the arts and humanities. Duke University's team has been a collaborator in this area. The response to this functionality was initially negative among humanities faculty but it's quieted down. The Brown team thinks that there are perceptions among the humanities faculty that VIVO is useful to the sciences but that it's not as applicable to them. Brown hired a person for six months who engaged with faculty and department managers before the launch, and the team feels that resource helped get faculty involved. Currently, more biomedical faculty than others are actively interested and engaged in Researchers@Brown.

    "What are your plans for VIVO in the future?"

    Brown has committed to ongoing development for Researchers@Brown. They will be integrating more sources for publications and adding integration with their digital repository. The team wants to make it very easy for researchers to display their data sets in their profile. They are working on structuring the textual data from their legacy system. They're also involved in a high-level assessment of campus data sources and governance; Researchers@Brown is part of that discussion, although it's not an authoritative source of much data.

    The Brown team plans to continue working on their profile manager, making the interface more useful to faculty members and integrating it into other web frameworks. They would also like to share their profile manager code with other VIVO institutions who might like to use it.

    "What is at the top of your VIVO "wish list?"

    The Brown team's top priority for Researchers@Brown is to make it easy for researchers to edit their pages and to make the profiles easy to publish on the web. According to Steve, "if it's not doing that, it's not serving its purpose." They would like to run the public face of Vivo in a more manageable presentation layer, keeping the data and the ontology as it is but adding more control over the display layer.

    Congratulations to the Brown team for making Researchers@Brown such an amazing resource for discovering your faculty members! Be sure to check it out at

    If you liked this VIVO story... Consider telling another one. To find out how, go to "Telling VIVO Stories Guidelines" here. Questions? Read the "Telling VIVO Stories: Community Engagement Task Force Charge" or contact facilitator Julia Trimmer .

    VIVO Strategic Goals for 2015-2016 Create the Foundation for Roadmap and Strategic Planning

    15 VIVO Goals for 2015-2016 Are Identified and Selected by the VIVO Strategy Group are Presented for Comment

    Last week, eleven members of the VIVO Strategy Group met on December 1 & 2 at Northwestern University's Evanston, IL campus to set priorities for the upcoming two years. Prior to the meeting, a 3-question survey was sent to 41 people who are members of the VIVO Leadership Group, the VIVO Steering Group, the VIVO Management Team, and the VIVO Strategy Group. 

    Survey Questions:
    • What do you think the value proposition is for VIVO?  
    • What do you see as VIVO’s top goals in the next 2-3 years?
    • What do you think are the key issues and challenges for VIVO that need to be addressed in the next 2-3 years?

    Twenty people answered the survey and provided a total of 181 bulleted responses. The answers were categorized into three strategic themes: Community; Sustainability; and Technology (see survey results and other meeting information here).

    Key objectives of the VIVO Strategy Meeting:
    • develop a shared understanding of VIVO's value proposition; 
    • discuss VIVO goals & issues; 
    • prioritize VIVO goals; and 
    • develop high-level action plans for prioritized VIVO goals.
    Working Value Proposition

    A working value proposition was drafted for further refinement: VIVO provides an integrated, searchable, view of the academic work of an organization.

    Five goals were selected for each strategic theme and are presented below. High level action plans are being finalized and will be communicated in the very near future.

    Top 15 2015-2016 goals for VIVO categorized by Strategic Theme:


    1. Increase productivity of the VIVO project.
    2. Develop a more transparent governance operation with clear roles and responsibilities.  
    3. Increase the number of contributors and the work they do to support software development, ontology! development, and other activities in the community.
    4. Maintain a current and dynamic web presence.
    5. Develop key goals and activities for leveraging key partnerships outside of the VIVO community (e.g. ORCID, CRIS, CASRAI,W3C, SciEnCV, CRediT, etc.) and align with VIVO strategy.


    1. Create an inclusive and welcoming open source! community aligned with VIVO's mission.
    2. Develop a clear value proposition for VIVO that explains the benefits of VIVO, the data model and the ontology.
    3. Establish a road map.
    4. Increase adoption by growing installed base.
    5. Clearly identify and aggressively promote the value membership.


    1. Develop democratic code contribution (and ontology contribution) processes. 
    2. Clarify the Core VIVO architecture, including guidelines and processes for making contributions available.
    3. Develop VIVO search for cross-institutional and cross-platform use, thus expanding the capabilities to existing and future users.
    4. Improve/increase VIVO core modularity with plug and play reasoners, triple stores, and search engines, e.g. to allow 3rd party and user-developed functionality to be easily ntegrated.
    5. Institute a distributed, team-based development and release management process for all VIVO project work.


    Your comments and strongly encouraged. Please send your feedback to Layne Johnson, VIVO Project Director at ljohnson at