VIVO Updates -- June 11 -- Vitro, and Why Ontology?

Vitro  Vitro is the engine that makes VIVO work.  We don't talk about it much.  That's a shame.  Everyone should know about Vitro.  One could even say that VIVO is a customized Vitro.

Vitro is a general purpose, semantic web ontology and data management tool.  Vitro is "domain neutral," that is, it manages data based on ontologies loaded into it.  Or said another way, it can manage any data for which an ontology has been loaded into it.  Vitro has been used to manage collections of clinical trials, spaceships, library catalogues, and data sets.  You can install Vitro, add ontologies describing your domain, and start managing data.  Almost all of what we have in VIVO comes from Vitro.

VIVO is an ontology and customizations to Vitro for representing scholarship.  Visualizations specific to scholarship, such as the capability map are in VIVO.  For a simple comparison of VIVO and Vitro see VIVO and Vitro.  For technical material regarding the organization of the VIVO and Vitro software, see the documentation wiki article Architecture.

You'll hear more about Vitro in the coming months, along with examples of Vitro being used in research settings.  Vitro is a completely general, and very powerful, tool for working with semantic data.

Why Ontology?  Ontology is a new word for many.  Turns out it is the key to data sharing in our world of information.  Systems without ontological foundations find data sharing difficult and costly, and as a result, rare.  Systems built on ontologies, such as Vitro and VIVO, find data sharing natural, and therefore common.  This month's column explores the question Why ontology? What do we get?  What must we do?  What problems will we encounter?

Conference  We're having a conference.  You knew that.  It's in New York, August 2-4.  The deadline for submitting a poster or demo is Monday, June 12.  You can submit here:  And by the way, have you registered?  It's never too early.  You can register here:

Internationalization  The Internationalization Task Force will meet this Wednesday, June 14 at 9 AM US Eastern Time.  Time zone conversion is available here:  Meeting Times Around the World.  Meeting notes are available on the Internationalization Task Force page.  The upcoming meeting will focus on process for translations and organization of file repositories.  Here's the Webex link:  Interested in VIVO in languages other than English?  Hop you can join the call.  If not, share your thoughts on

Implementation  Do you have questions about implementing VIVO?  About data? Policy? Technology?  Tools?  When you will sleep?  Join the Implementation Interest Group calls every month.  This month's call is this Thursday at 1 PM US Eastern time.  Here's the webex link:  



Mike Conlon  VIVO Project Director Duraspace