VIVO uses a collection of ontologies to represent scholarship. The Integrated Semantic Framework ontology modules for VIVO (the VIVO-ISF ontology) provide a set of types (classes) and relationships (properties) to represent researchers and the full context in which they work. Content in any local VIVO installation may be maintained manually, brought into VIVO in automated ways from local systems of record, such as HR, grants, course, and faculty activity databases, or from database providers such as publication aggregators and funding agencies. Additional ontologies provide context and meaning for attributes and entities defined in VIVO-ISF.
Improvements to the ontologies used in VIVO are treated like all other feature requests and are tracked in the VIVO JIRA issue tracker. Issues involving ontological development in VIVO-ISF are replicated in the OpenRIF GitHub issue tracker.