Blog

VIVO Updates for Sept 3 -- Participation, Membership, Camp, VIVO 1.10

Participation in VIVO.  The Outreach and Engagement Interest Group will have a call this Thursday at 1 PM US Eastern time.  Webex link is here:  https://goo.gl/4rjbzp Please join for a discussion regarding participation in VIVO.  What are the opportunities?  What might the opportunities be?  We look forward to sharing ideas!

Membership in Duraspace.  One way to participate in VIVO is to become a member.  Members participate in the governance of the project – selecting members of the Leadership Group and the Steering Group.  Members financially support the project enabling VIVO to participate in collaborative efforts around the world.  Becoming a member is very simple.  See http://bit.ly/durajoin.  I hope you will consider becoming a member.

VIVO Camp. Registration is open at  https://goo.gl/ocvznb  for VIVO Camp November 9-11, at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.  Camp is 2 1/2 days of training in all things VIVO.  Unlike a half day workshop, camp provides the opportunity to go into detail on a wide variety of topics critical to the success of a VIVO implementation.  Evaluating VIVO?  Camp provides an opportunity to get all your questions answered, in depth, and personally through interaction with VIVO experts.  Working on a VIVO implementation?  Bring your questions, and experiences to camp for a VIVO refresher. Camp will include hands on exercises in VIVO system administration and VIVO data management.  Questions about camp?  Please contact any of the instructors: Paul AlbertVioleta IlikGraham TriggsMike Conlon, and Julia Trimmer.  We look forward to seeing you in Durham in November!

VIVO 1.10 Please try the beta release and the associated utilities for upgrading.  See VIVO 1.10 Release Testing  You can comment right on the page with questions, findings, comments.

Go VIVO!

Mike

VIVO Updates -- Is VIVO FAIR? Plus camp, and 1.10 testing

VIVO Camp  Summer may be almost over, but that doesn't mean you've missed a chance to attend camp.  VIVO Camp will be held November 9-11 in beautiful Durham North Carolina.  Join Julia TrimmerGraham TriggsVioleta IlikPaul Albert, and Mike Conlon for 2.5 days of training regarding VIVO – planning a VIVO project, acquiring data for VIVO, data management for VIVO, VIVO ontology, and much more.  See what others are doing, share thoughts about your project with your classmates and with VIVO experts.  Registration is open here:  https://goo.gl/ocvznb  See you in Durham!

VIVO 1.10 Upgrading to the next version of VIVO will require that you export your triple store using a provided utility, upgrade your system, and reload your triple store using a second provided utility.  If you are the system administrator for your VIVO, please make sure you have tested VIVO 1.10 beta, available at GitHub and are comfortable with the upgrade process.  Please report any issues with the beta upgrade at vivo-tech@googlegroups.com If you are the project manager or data manager for your VIVO site, please make sure you have met as a team with your system administrator and developers to make sure that the upgrade process has been tested and that the consequences of the upgrade are well understood by all.

We have preliminary documentation regarding testing available here:  https://goo.gl/gGVvbv  Please report your findings with this process to vivo-tech@googlegroups.com

Is VIVO FAIR?  How do the FAIR data principles – data should be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable – apply to the data in VIVO systems?  This month's blog post considers this question along with things we each might do to make VIVO data more FAIR.  See Is VIVO FAIR?

No interest group call this Thursday.  August has five Thursdays.  We have four interest groups that meet on the first (Outreach and Engagement Interest Group), second (Development Interest Group), third (Implementation Interest Group), and fourth (Apps and Tools Interest Group) Thursday respectively.  No call this Thursday.  

Go VIVO!

Mike

Mike Conlon VIVO Project DirectorDuraspace 

Is VIVO FAIR?

NOTE: Apologies in advance.  This post is a bit longer than I would like, and contains some unavoidable technical terms.  I have tried to provide citations for each term, recognizing that this will further lengthen the reading for some.  I felt it was better to address this topic in one post rather than break it in two.  I hope that is good for all.
 
The FAIR data principles (https://goo.gl/MFTfC6) developed by Force 11 (https://www.force11.org) are increasingly popular and provide a means for assessing whether data is being shared in a useful manner for others.
 
VIVO sites produce data in the form of assertions about the connected graph of research and scholarship.  How does VIVO stack up against the FAIR data principles?
 
Findable. VIVO data is quite findable.  VIVO includes schema.org tags (http://schema.org) on its pages to improve search engine finding.  VIVO has a registry of sites (https://goo.gl/9Thaa8) with URLs for the sites.  VIVO sites can participate in Direct2Experts (http://direct2experts.org/), another finding tool.  VIVO site data is aggregated by CTSAsearch (https://goo.gl/Du3Fwn), yet another finding tool.  OpenVIVO (http://openvivo.org) provides its data as constantly updated text files on the web.  These files are very easy to find using a search engine (hint: search for "OpenVIVO data").  And with the addition of Triple Pattern Fragments (TPF) (https://goo.gl/k1BtFQ), in the next release of VIVO, I expect additional tools to be developed to find VIVO data.  The future is bright to further improve "find ability" of VIVO data.
 
Accessible. If people can find your VIVO data, can they access it?  The answer is yes.  VIVO is designed to share its data.  Every page in VIVO can be accessed as HTML, which browsers use to render the page for humans to read, and as RDF (https://www.w3.org/RDF/), a machine readable data format for computers to read.  This is one of VIVO's strongest features, and one of its biggest secrets.  Programmers can access VIVO's data starting from almost any page in VIVO, becuase VIVO provides a connected graph of scholarship and research.  Starting at a person, one can find papers, leading to co-authors.  Starting at an organization, one can find people who have positions in the organization.  Starting at a grant, one can find the funding agency, investigators, and so on.  VIVO makes traversing the graph straightforward.  
 
Additionally, sites may export their data to files accessible on the Internet, as OpenVIVO does, or provide a SPARQL (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPARQL) endpoint.  The TPF feature in the next release of VIVO will make VIVO data even easier to access.
 
Interoperable. VIVO data, modeled using the VIVO ontology, is amazingly interoperable.  Two sets of VIVO data can be combined simply by putting them in the same file.  No other work is needed.  All VIVO sites and sites exporting VIVO data (there are many) are fully interoperable.  They share the same data format (RDF) and the same representation/vocabulary (The VIVO Ontology).
 
Interoperability is lowered when sites do not use the same version of the VIVO ontology.  While each version is a valid representation of scholarship, the ontology currently does not provide equivalence between versions.  This must be done by software attempting to use multiple versions of the ontology.  Future work may lower the effort currently needed to use multiple ontology versions.
 
Interoperability can be lowered when VIVO sites extend the ontology in custom ways to represent additional elements in VIVO, or to represent elements that should be common and in the ontology.  The VIVO community needs to work with sites to identify elements that should be in the common ontology to avoid such customizations.
 
Similarly, interoperability can be lowered when sites use custom vocabulary to represent research concepts.  The VIVO community needs more work to develop best practices for presenting the concepts underlying research areas of scholars, and subject areas of their works.
 
Reusable VIVO data, modeled by the VIVO ontology, achieves the highest standards for reusability.  VIVO data is "Five Star Linked Data (https://goo.gl/GRN1RV)," a term coined by Tim Berners-Lee. (https://goo.gl/rrjzmZ).  VIVO data is 1) on the web; 2) machine readable structured data; 3) uses a non-proprietary format; 4) published using open W3C standards; and 5) links to other open data.  Anyone on the Internet can reuse VIVO data.  
 
And yet, there are things we can do to improve reusability.  We can clarify the license under which sites provide VIVO data, and provide that information with the data.  We can clarify where sites obtained their data and provide that information with the data.  VIVO's current practice is to "inherit" provenance information from the source providing the information -- that is, if the data came from site x, we currently assume site x provided the data.  We can go further and assert such facts explicitly in the VIVO data.  We currently assume that VIVO data is provided by each site in a manner that supports reuse with attrbution.  We can clarify this by providing a license assertion in the VIVO data.
 
Each VIVO site determines for itself how best to meet the FAIR data principles, if at all.  Some sites share their data freely, while others rely on the delivered VIVO software to share their data.  Still others have their data behind firewalls, preventing sharing.  Unshared data cannot be FAIR.
 
Each of the FAIR data principles has sub-headings providing further guidance regarding what it means to be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.  I urge you take a look at the principles and consider how VIVO can be improved and how your data practices can be improved to further the goal of VIVO data as FAIR data.
 
There is more that VIVO can do to improve VIVO's data as FAIR data.  We are all learning how to be FAIR.  I think VIVO Is doing well and can do better.
 
So perhaps a short working answer to "Is VIVO FAIR?" is: 1) the VIVO project supports the FAIR data principles; 2) the VIVO ontology is a strong element of VIVO which supports the FAIR data principles;  3) the VIVO software provides features which support the FAIR data principles; and 4) VIVO sites provide VIVO data and each can share data according to the FAIR data principles.
 
If you are involved with a VIVO site and are non-technical, you may wish to discuss with your technical staff how your site is addressing FAIR data principles.  If you are at a VIVO site and are technical, you may wish to speak with the non-technical members of the team regarding how your site should address FAIR data principles.  Working together, sites should be able to align their practices with their institutional requirements and with the FAIR data principles.
 
What do you think?  What more can the VIVO project do to promote data sharing using the FAIR data principles?  What features could be added to the ontology or to the software to make sharing data even more natural?
 

Updates -- camp, tools, pubmed, implementation, registry

Fall Camp November 9-11, Durham, NC  Planning a VIVO project?  Need to learn more about VIVO – sources of data, community engagement, data representation, queries, data management? VIVO Camp is 2 1/2 days of training.  Register today! https://goo.gl/ocvznb  Ideas for camp?  Please contact one of the instructors: Violeta IlikMike ConlonPaul AlbertGraham Triggs, and Julia Trimmer.  We'd love to hear from you!

Community Projects  Do you need a tool to help with your VIVO project?  Do you have a tool that might help others?  Community Projects is our catalog of community-based software that may help with your project.  Have something to add?  Please visit the page and tell us about your tool.

Adding PubMed Links to VIVO  Our good friends at Dartmouth College have written a great description of adding PubMed links to articles in your VIVO. As you may know, the NIH requires that papers produced with its funding be freely available in PubMed Central after a one year embargo.  Providing links to the full text of such papers turns your VIVO into a PubMed reading machine – find a paper in VIVO, read it via PubMedCentral. https://ic3d.dartmouth.edu/blog/vivo-hack-how-include-links-pubmed-articles-vivo-profile

Implementation Interest Group Call  This Thursday at 1 PM US Eastern time, (webex link https://goo.gl/sMc7YS), the Implementation Interest Group welcomes all those involved in VIVO projects for discussion of issues relating to creating and owning a VIVO.  All are welcome.  All questions are welcome. And if you'd just like to join to listen to the conversation, that's good too.

Registry friendly reminder  VIVO has a list of its sites (we get asked often if we have a list of sites.  We do).  We call the list a "registry".  You can find the list of sites at http://duraspace.org/registry/vivo  You can also find it under Community / Sites on http://vivoweb.org

If you don't see your site on the list, you can add it.  Click the link at the top of the first page of the registry.  Or click here

Go VIVO!

Mike

Mike Conlon VIVO Project DirectorDuraspace 

VIVO Updates -- conference thanks, 2018, new steering group members

What a great conference!  The eighth annual VIVO Conference was held at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, August 2-4.  We had outstanding keynote presentations by Christina Pattuelli and Jodi Schneider, invited talks by Katy Frey, Jim Hendler, Dave Eichmann, Ying Ding, and Rebecca Bryant, as well as a featured presentation by Julia Trimmer and Damaris Murry.  But there was quite a bit more – five workshops, 27 contributed presentations, and sixteen posters rounded out a very full program.  Thanks to all the presenters!!

If you presented at the conference and have not yet uploaded your presentation or poster to figshare, please go ahead and upload.  Mike Conlon will follow up regarding posters and presentations not yet uploaded.  We hope to have a complete collection on-line and available in OpenVIVO.  We look forward to seeing your presentation or poster uploaded.  Thank you for your attention to this.

Thanks to all who attended – we had a great opportunity share our experiences and thoughts about where VIVO should head next.

A hearty thanks to all our sponsors.  We greatly appreciate the support of  Platinum sponsors Clarivate Analytics, Elsevier, and Intelligent Medical Objects, Silver Sponsors Symplectic and The Rockefeller University Press, Bronze Sponsor Greensight, Institutional Sponsors Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, Virginia Tech, and the University of Pennsylvania, Welcoming Reception Sponsor Weill Cornell Medicine, and Poster Reception Sponsor Clarivate Analytics.

A final thanks to the conference organizing committee, led by Alex Viggio, Conference Chair, and Violeta Ilik, Program Chair.  What a great job.

And a very special thanks to the great folks at Weill Cornell Medicine: Terrie Wheeler, Paul Albert, Nicole Poldiak, Marian Puglisi, and all the staff that created a warm welcome and such strong support throughout the conference.  

Mark your calendars.  VIVO 2018 will be held at the beautiful JB Duke Hotel in Durham, North Carolina, June 6-8, 2018.  Paul Albert is Conference Chair.  Eric Meeks is Program Chair.  Please share your thoughts with Paul and Eric regarding your ideas for the conference!

New Steering Group Members.  The Leadership Group elected three members to the VIVO Steering Group.  Dean Krafft of Cornell was elected to a new three year term.  Lauren Gala of the University of Pennsylvania joins the Steering Group along with DJ Lee of Texas A&M University.  Please join me in welcoming them to the steering group!

Development Call.  The Development Interest Group will have its call this Thursday, at 1 PM US Eastern time.  The group will discuss the Jena 3 upgrade planned for 1.10, required upgrades for the triple store, and utilities included in 1.10 to perform the upgrades.  Here's the webex link: https://goo.gl/qSnUE5 We hope to see you on the call.

Credential Model.  Interested in adding professional licenses, credentials, and certificates to people in your VIVO?  The documentation now includes a credential model to show how these items are presented in VIVO.  Use the model with your favorite ingest tool to add these items to people in your VIVO.

Thoughts about VIVO?  We are always looking for new ideas for VIVO.  We'd love to hear from you.  Please write us at info@vivoweb.org

Go VIVO!

Mike

Mike Conlon VIVO Project DirectorDuraspace 

VIVO Updates -- conference time, Scholars@Cornell launches

Conference time!  The VIVO Conference starts this Wednesday with five workshops and a welcome reception.  Thursday continues with a full program and the poster session and reception.  Friday is another full day with a second keynote, contributed presentations and the closing session.  Weill Cornell Medicine has done an outstanding job preparing for all of us.  Alex Viggio, Conference Chair and Violeta Ilik, Program Chair, and the VIVO 2017 Conference Planning Task Force have put together a great conference.  Registration is open on line at http://vivoconference.org.  And walk-up registration is welcome in New York.  Student registration is just $99.  It's going to be a great event.  See you there!

Are you presenting at VIVO 2017?  Once again, VIVO is partnering with figshare to demonstrate the value of a connected ecosystem.  Presenters are encouraged to deposit their materials at figshare, register their ORCiD with the their figshare account, and tag their work with the keyword vivo17.  VIVO uses scripts to harvest materials tagged vivo17 and add them to OpenVIVO under the conference page in OpenVIVO.  Works are also linked to author's profiles.  The result is identified, public metadata for the presentations at the conference.  You may also choose to copy your work to a USB provided at the conference – we can take it from there.  Our goal is a complete presentation of the conference on OpenVIVO.

Tweeting the conference?  Following the conference on Twitter?  It's #vivo17.

Scholars@Cornell Cornell University Library announces the beta launch of Scholars@Cornell - a new data and visualization service for exploring Cornell research from the standpoint of the scholarly record. Scholars@Cornell provides a knowledge network with interactive visualizations for exploring faculty, academic units, and scholarly outputs.  It uses data feeds of publications, grants, and academic affiliations, and provides quality control from both automated routines and data curation partners.   It’s easy to explore the data with the new web-based experience provided by Scholars@Cornell.

Check it out now!  https://scholars.cornell.edu/

No interest group meeting this week  It's conference time!  See you in New York!

Go VIVO!

Mike

Mike Conlon VIVO Project DirectorDuraspace 

 

 

VIVO Updates -- membership, conference, ontology improvements, apps and tools

Membership supports VIVO  How can we afford to do the work we do – advance the software, organize meetings, provide documentation, evangelize VIVO, work with partners, and coordinate the work of all the volunteers supporting VIVO?  The answer is membership in Duraspace supporting the VIVO project.  The VIVO Project relies on you – the users of VIVO, to provide financial support through institutional memberships.  Our sincere thanks go out to all the sites that are institutional members.  You can find a list of these fine folks here:  VIVO Members.  I would like to thank each and every member for their critical financial support.  Without members, there is no project.  If you are a member, please consider whether you might be able to increase your support.  If you are using VIVO and you are not a member, please start a discussion at your institution regarding membership.  If you have questions about membership or member benefits, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Becoming a member is easy.  Follow this link:  http://bit.ly/dura-join (that's so easy you can remember it, or write it down).  And please tell your friends and share with others in the VIVO community.  We look forward to your continuing support!

The VIVO Conference  This is NOT the last time VIVO Updates will tell you about the VIVO Conference.  Next week is the last VIVO Updates before the conference.  If you haven't made plans, you still have a 10 days!  See http://vivoconference.org Weill Cornell Medicine has done a tremendous job with local arrangements – we have an exciting line-up of workshops on August 3 followed by an opening reception at the Skylight Lounge, fabulous keynotes and invited speakers, tons of contributed work showing VIVO at various institutions, problems being solved, work for the future, Posters, panels, and of course, an opportunity to discuss VIVO with practitioners from around the world.  It's going to be a great time and I hope to meet you and discuss VIVO with you.  I want to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors.  Sponsors provide critical support for the conference.  When you are at the conference, please stop by the sponsor tables, discuss their interests and thank them for their support.  A special thanks to our institutional sponsors providing additional support.  You can find the sponsors listed on the conference home page.

Ontology Improvements  The Ontology Improvement Task Force will have its next meeting Monday July 31, at 10 AM US Eastern.  The group has been defining a new ontology improvement process for tracking issues, working issues, and insuring that ontology improvements are represented in versions of the released VIVO software – we also expect to be able to update the ontology without needing to update the software.

One feature of the ontology improvement process is the concept of impact.  Some changes are cosmetic, internal, or otherwise have no impact on existing VIVO sites.  Other changes will require changes to the data of existing sites.  And still other changes will require changes to the data and software of running sites.  As changes are proposed, we will try our best to be clear about the impact of a proposed change.  We are planning to have proposed changes vetted by the community during an open comment period.

You can find the draft ontology improvement process, available for comment, here:  https://goo.gl/6ZYqry

Apps and Tools  The Apps and Tools Interest Group will have a call this Thursday at 1 PM Eastern time.  Here's the webex link:  https://goo.gl/9ZYrbR  We will take a look at the new Triple Pattern Fragments server available in version 1.10 and available now in OpenVIVO here:  http://openvivo.org/tpf/core

Go VIVO!

Mike

Mike Conlon 

VIVO Project Director

Duraspace 

VIVO Updates -- inflibnet workshop, implementation support, open repositories, and more

InfLibNet National VIVO Workshop, Gandhinagar, India, Aug 16-18   The Information and Library Network Centre (INFLIBNET), Inter-University Centre of UGC, Gandhinagar is organizing "Three-day National Workshop on VIVO Faculty Profile Management System and Discovery’’ 16- 18th August 2017 at INFLIBNET Centre, Infocity, Gandhinagar, India.  More about the workshop here: http://inflibnet.ac.in/forthcoming/vivo.pdf  Online registration: http://inflibnet.ac.in/hrd/login.php

Implementing VIVO?  We have some resources that might help:

  • Planning a VIVO Implementation is a section of the VIVO wiki focused on issues that arise in using VIVO as an enterprise system to represent scholarship.  Written by VIVO experts, the material covers project management, outreach and engagement, data management, and technical development.  A glossary of common VIVO terms is included to get you started.
  • The Implementation Interest Group meets every four weeks, and will meet this Thursday at 1 PM US Eastern time.  The group discusses implementation issues and checks in on the status of implementations currently underway.  Here's a webex link:  https://goo.gl/H5Qnds  All are welcome!
  • VIVO Camp is a 2.5 day ticketed event with hands on training in VIVO implementation.  We are considering a VIVO Camp in the Raleigh Durham area November 9-11.  If this would be of interest to you and your site, please drop me a note.

Managing Organizations  Many VIVO sites use VIVO to maintain the organizational structure of their site using VIVO.  VIVO provides the means to indicate the types of organizations – colleges, departments, divisions, and many others, and the means to indicate that one organization is part of another.  Managing organizations is a good training use case – one can see how data is represented – both data properties (attributes of the organizations such as name) and object properties (connections between objects).  We have a new complete worked example of managing organizations in The VIVO 1.9.x Documentation.  See Managing Organization Hierarchy

Open Repositories followup  Open Repositories is an annual conference bringing together people work on repositories based on open source software such as Dspace, Fedora, and VIVO.  The conference was held in Brisbane Australia June 26-30.  Graham Triggs and Mike Conlon attended along with Andrew Woods, Tim Donohue, Erin Tripp, and Debra Kurtz of Duraspace.  We had a poster and a presentation, both available via OpenVIVO.  The conference is a great opportunity to discuss VIVO with people in the community and those new to VIVO.  In particular, we had very productive conversations with Mark Fallu of the University of Melbourne, Tom Cramer of Stanford, Amir Aryani of the Australian National Data Service, Rick Johnson of Notre Dame and OSF, and many others.

The open repository community is growing in its interest in open data, open access, open science, open metadata, common identifiers, linked data, and interests in institutional representation of scholarship.  Duraspace is a sponsor of the conference and has many roles of the years in fostering the growth and continuance of this community.  Next year's conference will be at Montana State University in Bozeman Montana, June 4-7, 2018.  See http://www.or2018.net/

Vitro Page  Want to use Vitro without VIVO?  Vitro is a general purpose semantic web data hosting and ontology editing platform.  VIVO is built on Vitro, but you can use Vitro all by itself to manage any kind of data for which you have an ontology.  See http://vivoweb.org/info/about-vitro

VIVO Conference, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York City, Aug 2-4  http://vivoconference.org  17 days until the VIVO Conference.  See you all there!

Go VIVO!

Mike

Mike Conlon VIVO Project DirectorDuraspace 

 

 

VIVO Updates -- conference, workshop, development, monthly column, Research Graph

VIVO Conference Aug 2-4, Weill Cornell Medicine, NYC  Plenty of time to register and plan to attend.  Fabulous keynotes, invited speakers, contributed talks, posters, sponsors, NYC, and your VIVO colleagues!  Questions, answers, discovery, enlightenment.  What could be better than that?  See you in New York!  http://vivoconference.org

Second VIVO Workshop September 28,  German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB) in Hannover, Germany  Amongst other, there will be reports on existing or planned VIVO projects. We would be delighted to hear from your experiences, or your own developments, too. Please send me an email with your suggestion, if you would like to hold a talk at our workshop.  More information and registration: https://events.tib.eu/vivoworkshop2017/  Due to the limited number of participants, an early registration is recommended. The workshop will be held in German language.

Development Meeting  The Development Interest Group will meet this Thursday at 1 PM Eastern.  Plans for 1.10 will be discussed.  Here's the webex link: https://goo.gl/i3FBE2

VIVO is more than profiles  We often talk of VIVO as a profile system – a system for showcasing the work of scholars.  But it is much more than that.  VIVO create a connected graph of scholarship – one that can be used to discovery connections between all the elements of scholarship – people, grants, works, datasets, resources, and much more.  This month's column explores the idea of VIVO as a connected graph of scholarship, and the opportunities that affords us.

Research Graph and VIVO  Speaking of connected graphs of scholarship, there is Research Graph, an effort of the Australian National Data Service in partnership with the Research Data Alliance.  Research Graph has been mapped to VIVO and Research Graph data hosted in a VIVO.  You can read more here.  Duraspace and Research Graph are exploring possible services related to the mapping of Research Graph and VIVO.  You can express interest in this work here.

Go VIVO!

Mike

Mike Conlon VIVO Project DirectorDuraspace 

Connections

July 2017
 
When I first saw VIVO, I was struck by the simplicity and power of its connective nature.  Anything could be connected to anything through the elegant syntax of the semantic web.  Over the years, there has been a focus on "profiles" -- assemblies of works of individual scholars, in formats that resemble department web pages, or curriculum vitae, or biosketches.  This focus has created a perception that VIVO is a profile system.  That's unfortunate.
 
VIVO can display profiles, and there is great value in using an open source, semantic web application to display profiles.  But VIVO is much more than a profile system.  VIVO creates an integrated "graph" of the entities it represents.  Graphs are the natural structures for representing connections.  Triples are the natural means of representing graphs in computers.
 
What connections are of interest?  A simple, but perhaps not very useful answer is "all."  We want to know which people used what resource.  We want to know which grants funded what datasets.  We want to know what events exhibited which presentations.
 
Suppose we wish to make connections between six kinds of things -- works, people, datasets, grants, organizations, and people.  We can, of course, imagine other kinds of things we might wish to connect -- events, resources, locations, time periods, and so on.  For six kinds of things, there are 15 kinds of pairs of things -- grants and people, works and datasets, plus the six reflexive pairings -- people to people, works to works, etc.  
 
We can start to think of the kinds of connections there might be between various kinds of things.  Consider people and grants.  We have a person funded by a grant.  A person is the principal investigator of a grant.  A  person might follow a grant, in the way a person might follow another person in social media.  There could be many types of connections between people and grants.  Each can be modeled in VIVO.
 
We can start to think of a thing and the types of connections that thing might have to other things.  Consider a publication as a thing.  The publication is connected to a journal, to its authors, to a time of publication.  The publication is connected to its publisher through its journal, to various organizations through its authors, to a full text representation in a repository, to metrics regarding its use, possibly to grant funding, to software and datasets, to concepts, and to other publications through references and citations.  In other words, the publication is a node in a connected graph consisting of other elements of scholarship.
 
Some connections have their own data -- data about the connection itself.  A person has a position in an organization.  The position is a connection between the person and the organization indicating employment.  The employment has a time period, and a title.  The position typically has a type.  Each of these pieces of data are about the connection between the person and the organization.
 
Each connection is recorded as data in VIVO.  VIVO has data about the connected things, and the nature of the connection between the things, and data about the connection between the things.  Of all of these, the person has a bit of a special place in a VIVO.  There has been more effort put into representing people and their connections, and more effort in displaying people and their connections.  This is the so-called profile, and leads to the characterization of VIVO as a profile system.  But underneath, VIVO is a connected graph, and we can have any amount of detail we wish about any of the elements of the graph.
 
What if we made profiles of events rather than people?  What would an event "profile" look like?  What information do we want to see? How far into the graph of connections would we reach?  Are there important connections between events?  Between events and other things in the connected graph of scholarship?  What would we be able to know that is difficult to know now?  The same questions can be asked of any of the graph entities.
 
What are the connections of interest?  What connections are already in VIVO and which should be added?  What is missing in order to make the connections of interest?  If we had the connections we need, how would we use them to better understand and use the scholarship of our organization and of the world?  What tools and capabilities would we create?
 
In future columns, I'll share some thoughts about these questions.  Please share your thoughts with others.  It is through sharing that we will grow our understanding of the utility of connections, and of what we must build next.
 
preserve