VIVO Updates for Nov 20 -- Stanford, theming, conference

Stanford University becomes a member.  Stanford University has joined Duraspace as a member supporting VIVO.  Stanford is very active in the Fedora project, and Linked Data for Libraries.

Becoming a member is a fantastic way to support the future development of VIVO.  Members can engage in VIVO Project Governance, helping steer the direction of future work.  Becoming a member is straightforward.  See

Theming Task Force.  Interested in the look and feel of VIVO?  A Theming Task Force is starting to work on the Symplectic Bootstrap theme presented at the VIVO conference.  Want to help?  Contact Graham Triggs.

VIVO 2017 Conference web site.  You'll want to book mark, an all new conference web site for 2017!  The VIVO Conference will be held at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, August 2-4.  See you there!

VIVO 2017 Workshops.  In more conference news, VIVO 2017 Task Force is pleased to announce that next year's conference will have exciting changes in the way the workshops are organized:  First, workshops will be free of charge!  The conference is making this change to lower costs and encourage participation.  If you are planning to attend the conference, please plan to attend one or more workshops.  Second, workshop proposers, after having their workshop accepted, will be responsible for selecting speakers for their workshops who are experts in the field. By having more focused discussion on relevant topics, we hope to enable VIVO conference attendees to learn what is new in specific fields of interest to the community and tho participate in conversations regarding the advances.

No call this Thursday.  This Thursday is the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.  Thanksgiving is a time for family to gather, have a traditional dinner, reflect and give thanks for all the goodness of life.  I hope everyone has a chance to share the good things in their lives with each other on this special day.



Mike Conlon  VIVO Project Director Duraspace 

VIVO Updates for Nov 6 -- development, conference vice chairs, membership

Development Call this Thursday  The Development Interest Group continues its review of VIVO 1.10 Release PlanningJIRAs related to the development, and the work of task forces contributing to the development.  All developers are welcome to join the call, this Thursday November 10, at 1 PM US Eastern time.  Click here for the WebEx meeting.

2017 Conference Vice Chairs  The 2017 Conference chair Alex Viggio is pleased to announce that Paul Albert of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City has agreed to serve as conference vice chair.  Paul is a member of the VIVO Steering Group, chairs the Implementation Interest group, and is a long time contributor to the VIVO community.  Please join me in thanking Paul for agreeing to serve!

Violeta Ilik, 2017 Conference Program chair is pleased to announce Eric Meeks of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) has agreed to serve as program vice chair for 2017.  Eric is a member of the VIVO Steering Group and has been deeply involved in search engine optimization and promotion of profiles systems to faculty members.  Please join me in thanking Eric for agreeing to serve!

The VIVO 2017 Conference Planning Task Force is hard at work preparing next year's conference.  If you would like to join the group (it's fun!) please contact Alex Viggio.  We look forward to seeing you in New York in 2017!

Thank you Membership Task Force!  The 2016 Membership Task Force (Jonathan MarkowRobert CartolanoJulia Trimmer, and Andi Ogier, with debra hanken kurtz and Duraspace staff support from Kristi Searle and Valorie Hollister) has finished its work for the year.  We have many new members, and members who have increased their support over the course of the year.  We have new prospects, and much improved contact information.  We still have some time to go in 2016, and we continue discussions with several institutions about their interest in supporting VIVO though membership.  It's never too late to become a member.  Simply choose a membership level and complete a simple form.  Duraspace staff members will contact you for payment.  It's all very simple.  Membership supports our coordination of technical development, our travel, technical infrastructure, and corporate infrastructure.  If you are considering membership (and I hope you are!) and need more information, please contact debra hanken kurtz or Mike Conlon.  We look forward to hearing from you.



Mike Conlon  VIVO Project Director Duraspace 

VIVO Updates for Oct 30 -- outreach call, VIVO on social media

Outreach and Engagement call this Thursday  Join us this Thursday at 1 PM US Eastern time for the monthly call of the Outreach and Engagement Interest Group.  All are welcome!  The group discusses all issues regarding getting the word out about VIVO, engaging faculty, project management, change management, use cases, and much more.  It's not a technical conversation.  If you are new to the VIVO community, or new to VIVO calls, this is a good call for you.  We use Webex.  It's easy and free.  Install Webex before the call, test it, and then when its time for the call, use this link:  Outreach call Webex Link.  Join in the conversation!

VIVO on Twitter  Did you know VIVO is on Twitter?  Follow @vivocollab on Twitter.  Twitter is our most active social media outlet.  We have more than 1,000 followers.  Not only will you see VIVO news and updates as they happen, you'll see partners sharing news with our community.  We don't post politics, advocacy, or any other topics not specifically related to the VIVO Project.  Join us on Twitter at

VIVO on Facebook Prefer Facebook?  All our tweets go to Facebook, so you won't miss a thing.  Join us on Facebook at

VIVO on LinkedIn  Prefer LinkedIn?  Well, to be honest, we're not very active on LinkedIn.  We don't have a tweet stream into LinkedIn.  We occasionally cross-post from VIVO Updates or other posts to LinkedIn, but it's not a common practice.  You can join us on LinkedIn at, but you won't see much.  If you have ideas about how to improve our LinkedIn group, please send me a note.



Mike Conlon  VIVO Project Director Duraspace 

VIVO Updates for October 23 -- UCSF joins as a member, opportunities to help

Welcome UCSF as a new member!  The University of San Francisco (UCSF) has joined Duraspace as a bronze member supporting VIVO!  UCSF is one of the leading biomedical research universities in the world.  UCSF contributes expertise in many ways to the VIVO project: Eric Meeks from UCSF serves on the VIVO Steering Group, and UCSF collaborators regularly present at the VIVO Conference regarding search engine optimization, and engagement of faculty in using research networking systems.

Interested in supporting VIVO?  Become a member.  See Becoming a Member of Duraspace.

Want to help?  Here are some opportunities:

  • The Data Loader Task Force is looking for developers interested in working on a new utility for simple loading of VIVO data
  • The VIVO 2017 Conference Planning Task Force is looking for additional task force members to help with planning next year's conference at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, August 2-4, 2017.  No experience?  No problem – the conference is always looking for new people.
  • The VIVO Camp Task Force is looking for people interested in helping plan VIVO camps.  The camps will provide people new to the community with a multi-day training experience in all things VIVO.  
  • The Membership Task Force is always looking for people who want to help VIVO with its membership drive.  Membership is critically important to VIVO.  If you are interested in helping VIVO with its membership drive, please consider joining the task force.
  • VIVO 1.10 Release Planning is on-going.  If you would like to help with development, testing or documentation, please contact Graham Triggs.

Want to help with something else?  Have an idea for creating something new?  See How to Form a Task Force.

Apps and Tools call  This Thursday at 1 PM, the Apps and Tools Interest Group will have its monthly call.  Apps and Tools is a great place to share ideas about software you may be working on that uses VIVO data, or produces VIVO data.  The VIVO APIs document how data can be accessed by apps and tools and how apps and tools can be used to provide data to VIVO.  If you are interested in apps and tools for VIVO, please join the call on Thursday.



Mike Conlon  VIVO Project Director Duraspace 

VIVO Updates for Oct 16 -- Save the date for VIVO 2017, Ontology diagrams updated

Save the Date! VIVO 2017 August 2-5, New York City.  The 2017 VIVO Conference will be held at Weill Cornell Medical College, August 2-4, 2017.  Alex Viggio is Conference Chair.  Violeta Ilik is Program Chair.

Would you like to help plan the conference?  The VIVO 2017 Conference Planning Task Force is looking for you.  Please contact any of the task force members if you would like to help.

Ontology Diagrams Updated  The VIVO 1.9.x Documentation has been updated with new ontology diagrams.  See Ontology Diagrams. The new diagrams focus on implementation, with entity models for each of the kinds of things VIVO sites typically want to add.  Diagrams use a consistent style and attempt to show the location of literal values that sites want to add to their VIVOs.  

The VIVO Classes diagram has been updated, showing the classes that exist in VIVO, and how they are related. Missing classes have been added.  Classes not in VIVO have been removed. Numeric predicates have been labeled throughout to ease implementation and SPARQL query.

Numerous additional minor changes have been made throughout the documentation.  See VIVO 1.9.x Documentation and  VIVO 1.9.x Documentation as PDF

Implementation call this Thursday  Implementing VIVO?  That's great!  Have questions?  Of course you do.  The Implementation Interest Group is here to help.  The group has a call on the second Thursday of each month at 1 PM US eastern time.  See the link for call information.  Bring your questions!



Mike Conlon  VIVO Project Director Duraspace 

VIVO Updates for October 9 -- v1.9.1, v1.10, membership, development

VIVO 1.9.1 is available!  VIVO 1.9.1 has been released and is available here.  Release notes are available here.  VIVO 1.9.1 is a minor maintenance release that addresses several issues:

  • Responsiveness of the Capability Map has been improved
  • Turtle support has been added to the filegraph loader
  • errors on profile pages have been fixed
  • Maven character set issues on Windows have been fixed
  • Maven now correctly sets Java 1.7 version
  • VIVO now uses the background RDFService correctly in the visualization cache

If you are implementing VIVO for the first time, we recommend you start with 1.9.1.  If you are upgrading to the current version, we recommend you upgrade to 1.9.1.

VIVO 1.10  We continue to gather feedback and contributions of effort for version 1.10, expected in the summer of 2017.  Thanks to all who have participated in discussions regarding the next version of VIVO.  We continue to look for additional help, particularly in the areas of user interface, internationalization, and technical documentation.  See VIVO 1.10 Release Planning.

Membership in VIVO  October will mark the formal end of the annual VIVO membership drive.  You may receive one additional solicitation this week.  VIVO had a good year.  We'd like to have a better year.  If your institution is not a member, please consider becoming a member.  Membership supports the work of VIVO, insuring the software, and community move forward.  We can do more with more members.  A current list of the members is here.  Becoming a member is easy – just visit this site, and return the form.  We'll take care of invoicing your institution.  We deeply appreciate the support of our members and we look forward to having your institution join as a member.

Development Meeting this Thursday  The Development Interest Group will meet this Thursday at 1 PM.  The Webex link is here.  All interested in working on VIVO and Vitro code are welcome to attend.  The group organizes sprints to add new features to VIVO, using GitHub pull requests.  If you have Java programming skills, or interest in contributing to the technical documentation of VIVO, please consider joining the call and contributing to the improvement of VIVO and Vitro.  We look forward to meeting you and working with you.



Mike Conlon  VIVO Project Director Duraspace 

VIVO Updates for October 2 -- new task forces, technical specs, data packages, and roadmap

New task forces forming. Three new task forces are forming.  If you are interested in helping with any of these efforts, please contact the task force members.

  1. VIVO 2017 Conference Planning Task Force.  Please join Alex Viggio, 2017 VIVO Conference Chair, and Violeta Ilik, 2017 VIVO Conference Program Chair, in planning and preparing for the next VIVO conference.  The conference planning task force "does everything" needed to put on the conference.  The work promises to be fun and interesting!
  2. Data Loader Task Force.  A group is forming to design and build a simple data loader for VIVO.  Given a spreadsheet of people, the loader will create or update the people in VIVO, as well as collect their PubMed and/or Web of Science publications and add or update the publications in VIVO.  Using a single spreadsheet as input, the data loader will create and maintain a VIVO site of people and their publications.  Sound interesting?  Please plan on joining the task force.
  3. VIVO Camp Task Force.  The VIVO community is growing and maturing.  New sites, and sites considering VIVO, need an opportunity for an introduction to the world of VIVO.  We would like to have a two or three day event with 4-5 VIVO instructors where sites could get an immersive experience, and share thoughts and questions with other sites considering VIVO.  Through a camp experience, we hope to grow the community of sites.  The VIVO Camp Task Force will create a business model, and curriculum, as well as identify a location, instructors and materials for a potential camp in the spring of 2017.  If you are interested in helping sites considering VIVO, please join the task force.

VIVO Technical Specs.  VIVO has a new technical specifications document.  The two-sided PDF handout summarizes VIVO from a technical point of view – what it consists of, what is required to run it, what does it do.  We hope the document will be useful in discussions regarding the suitability of VIVO as software at your institution.  You can find the technical specs on the VIVO web site, and links to the specs in the VIVO wiki on the homepage.

Introducing data packages.  VIVO is about data – data about the scholarship at an institution.  VIVO data is linked, and these links refer to other data that may be about the world of scholarship, rather than the scholarship of the institution.  For example, your data may refer to other research institutions around the world – perhaps your faculty members obtained degrees at other institutions, received grants from other institutions, had positions at other institutions.  To date, each VIVO site has been recreating data about the research institutions of the world in order to link data about their scholarship to these data about research organizations.  This approach has several issues. First, there is tremendous duplication of effort.  Each VIVO site is creating similar data regarding the research institutions of the world.  Second, the data each VIVO site creates has local URLs for each of the research institutions it creates and curates.  When VIVO data is combined, the same research institution will have many different URLs and will need to be reconciled.  Third, the data that is being created is secondary to the goal of the institution's VIVO – to represent the institution's scholarship.  The secondary nature of the work is unnecessary effort – why can't the data be provided so that we can all use it?  Provided data might be better than what we could create locally.  As the primary work of the provider, the data might contain persistent identifiers, and other attributes, and be curated at a level higher than what might be done locally.

OpenVIVO explored these ideas, identifying useful sets of data that might be offered as "packages" – simple one file collections of RDF represented using VIVO-ISF that can be loaded into a local VIVO, and refreshed when the provider provides updates.  OpenVIVO worked with Digital Science to create a data package from their data of the research institutions of the world.  You can find their data at  You can find an RDF data package of their data at

Data packages can be loaded into VIVO using the existing "filegraph" mechanism.  The process is described in the documentation here.

We hope to identify other providers of data that can be made into data packages and offered to the VIVO community for use in their VIVOs.  If you would like to be a data provider, or know of sets of data that would be useful to the VIVO community, please let us know.  Use of data packages should provide a simple way to share data, avoid duplication of effort, align data across VIVOs and improve the data quality in each VIVO.

Community input for VIVO 1.10.  The Outreach and Engagement Interest Group will have a call this Thursday to discuss VIVO 1.10 Release Planning.  We are often asked "how does the VIVO project decide what will be in future versions of the software?"  As a member supported, open source, community developed software project, we have a governance process by which decisions are made.  The community expresses its interests through the interest groups and via the email lists,  the governance groups approve directions, various supporters commit to participating in various development activities, the committers group approves changes to the software.  The process is described in the VIVO Roadmap Process.  You can always find the VIVO Roadmap Process in the upper left hand corner of the VIVOwiki, along with the VIVO Project Charter v 1.1 and VIVO Strategic Plan 2015-2016.  The strategic plan will soon be updated.  Expect to see more about that in the weeks ahead.

Please join us this Thursday at 1 PM eastern via Webex to participate in community input to VIVO 1.10 Release Planning.



Mike Conlon  VIVO Project Director Duraspace 

VIVO Update for September 25 -- ECU, Java 7, Roadmap

East Carolina VIVO!  Congratulations to the team at East Carolina University on the launch of their VIVO site VIVO Research and Expertise Across East Carolina University.  Based on version 1.9, the site showcases more than 1,000 faculty, 10,000 academic articles and other works, 850 organizations, campus buildings, and much more.  What a great site!

Deprecating Java 7  In an effort to keep VIVO current, the next version of VIVO is planned to require Java 8.  Java 7 will no longer be supported.  Java 7 has passed out of support by Oracle as of April 2015.  Oracle no longer provides updates, including security patches, for it.  An FAQ from Oracle is available.  The current version of Jena requires version 8 of Java.  Requiring Java 8 for VIVO will allow us to upgrade Jena to the most current version.  Besides keeping current with this critical component of VIVO, the new version of Jena offers support for RDF 1.1 and SPARQL 1.1.  You can read more about the current version of Jena here.

If requiring Java 8 in the next release of VIVO will create a hardship or barrier for your VIVO site, or you have questions about this, please let us know.  We hope to hear from you.

Roadmap call this Thursday  This Thursday, at 1 PM US Eastern time, we will have a meeting of the VIVO Roadmap Task Force to discuss potential features and architecture for the next release, and features and architecture for releases beyond the next release.  Please see VIVO 1.10 Release Planning as background.  All are welcome to attend.  We look forward to hearing your thoughts about what is needed as VIVO moves forward.  The meeting will be held via WebEx.



Mike Conlon  VIVO Project Director Duraspace 

VIVO Updates for Sept 18 -- Documentation, Bootstrap VIVO, Help Wanted

148. 375  Those are the number of wiki pages and the number of PDF pages in the VIVO 1.9.x Documentation and VIVO 1.9 documentation PDF respectively.  We have finished moving the documentation to the documentation wiki.  The documentation wiki has documentation about the software and ontology – what it does and how it is used.  The VIVO wiki continues to be the place for all meetings, interest groups, task forces, planning, and community support.   The documentation wiki is organized by topics familiar to those supporting software.  The project wiki is organized by the needs of the community.

The documentation wiki has an outline, content in most areas of the outline, a style guide, and a first pass over all pages to move toward the style guide.  There is still quite a bit to do.  Some pages are missing or incomplete.  Other pages need to be updated with current content and screen shots.  Other areas need to be improved to address common questions.

In moving and editing content to the documentation wiki, the wiki's indications of "authorship" are often disrupted. The note on the VIVO Technical Documentation page in the project wiki should be emphasized:

These pages contain contributions from many members of the VIVO community. Confluence may state that a certain person has "created" a page, when in fact they have merely split, copied, or merged two existing pages. In this way, the pages may appear to be the work of a single person. Everyone who has worked on VIVO deserves recognition and thanks.

We will continue to improve the documentation.  If you would like to help, please contact Graham Triggs

Bootstrap VIVO  Symplectic has produced a new interface for VIVO.  Based on the popular Twitter Bootstrap (hence "Bootstrap VIVO") look and feel, the new interface is "responsive," meaning that it works well on mobile devices such as phones and tablets, as well as on computer screens of all sizes.  The interface provides new features, emphasizing expert finding.  The new interface is described in a talk given at the VIVO conference, and in a poster.  You can try the new interface here.  As you will see, it looks quite a bit like the new CU experts site and the new UOW Scholars site.  Both these sites use design principles in common with the Bootstrap VIVO work.  We have an opportunity to provide this interface as a selectable option in a future release of VIVO.  Let us know what you think.  If you are willing to help with providing this interface in a future version of VIVO, please contact Graham Triggs

Help Wanted  Speaking of help, VIVO is always looking for additional help.  If you would like to help VIVO, we have many opportunities:

  • Technical writing.  We need help with the documentation wiki.
  • Development.  Are you a developer?  Interested in fixing something that has been bugging you about VIVO?  Adding something that is missing?  There's quite a bit that can be done for the next release of VIVO (tentatively called VIVO 1.10)  See VIVO 1.10 Release Planning and consider working on pull requests, open JIRA requests or otherwise contributing.
  • Ontology.  We need help improving the ontologies used in VIVO.  Interested?  Please join The OpenRIF development group.
  • Community building.  Interested in helping build the VIVO community?  Communications?  Outreach?  
  • Conference planning.  The 2017 VIVO Conference planning is underway.  If you'd like to help, please contact the conference chair, Alex Viggio
  • VIVO Camps.  We'd like to create training opportunities for people to learn more about VIVO.  Interested in welcoming people to the community?  Helping them evaluate VIVO?  Helping them learn more about VIVO?
  • Membership.  We are always looking for new members.  Are you a member (check here).  If so, great!  We appreciate your support.  If not, please considering becoming a member.
  • Steering.  Interested in helping set the course of the project?  In the spring we will have openings on the VIVO Steering Group.  Please consider joining.
  • Web design.  The VIVO web site is always looking for new ideas, new design.
  • And more.  Just want to help?  Not sure where?  Please contact Mike Conlon.  Let's talk about your interests.

Please contact Mike Conlon if you are interested in helping the project in any way.

Apps and Tools  The Apps and Tools Interest Group will have its call this Thursday at 1 PM eastern.  The group discusses software that uses the VIVO APIs, and Linked Open Data - requests and responses to reuse VIVO data, as well as tools that produce VIVO data.  Interested in software development using VIVO data?  Please plan on joining the call.



Mike Conlon  VIVO Project Director Duraspace 

VIVO Updates for Sept 11 -- new members, conference keynote videos available

Welcome two new members – University of Idaho and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research!  VIVO has two new members this week!

The University of Idaho is the U.S. state of Idaho's oldest public university, located in the city of Moscow in Latah County in the northern portion of the state. It is the state's land-grant and primary research university. Wikipedia  See their VIVO here:

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research is a nonprofit consortium of more than 100 colleges and universities providing research and training in atmospheric and related sciences. UCAR manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and provides additional services to strengthen and support research and education through its community programs.  Wikipedia  See their Earth Observing Laboratory Artic Data Connects VIVO here:

We thank UCAR and the University of Idaho for joining the project as members.  Their support and the support of all our members, help insure VIVO's ability to continue to develop software, ontology, and community in service to the representation of scholarship across the world.

Becoming a member  If you are considering becoming a member of Duraspace supporting VIVO, you may wish to review our list of members, and Duraspace's Becoming a Member page.  If you haven't considered becoming a member, please take a few minutes to review these pages.  We appreciate everyone's support.

VIVO Conference keynote talks available  New this year, the VIVO Conference recorded and is making available video of the keynote talks.  You can find the talks on Youtube here:

Thanks to Sören and Dario for these amazing talks, and for allowing their talks to be made available openly, and to the conference organizers for creating the video!

More from the conference  It's last call for conference materials to be posted to figshare!  If you presented at the VIVO Conference and have not yet posted your materials to figshare, please do so this week.  We have over 90% of the materials presented already posted. Thanks to all the presenters who have uploaded their materials, the response has been fantastic.  If you haven't posted your materials yet, it's very easy to do.  Log on to figshare (create an account if you do not have one), upload your poster or presentation, and tag your material vivo16.  Your material will become part of the figshare VIVO 2016 collection and will be available on the VIVO 2016 Conference page inOpenVIVO.

Implementation Interest Group this Thursday  The Implementation Interest Group will meet this Thursday at 1 PM US eastern time.  The group is a great forum for sharing ideas about creating and managing a VIVO for your institution.  The group has updates from sites around the world, takes questions regarding VIVO and VIVO data, and helps sites get their VIVOs going.  New to the VIVO calls?  You will find the Implementation call a great place to get started.  It's always great to meet new people and help keep projects moving forward.



Mike Conlon  VIVO Project Director Duraspace