Page tree
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Ontology Overview

VIVO is an open source application implementing semantic web principles and technologies to represent academic research communities. When populated with researcher interests, activities, and accomplishments, VIVO enables the discovery of research and scholarship across disciplines at one institution or across many. Every person, organization, or other data entity in VIVO has a unique identifier in the form of a URI. Requesting that URI in a browser will return a human-readable web page, while a request for the same URI as data will return a machine-readable version of the same content for use in other applications, following the principles of linked open data (see

VIVO enables the discovery of researchers across institutions as demonstrated by and the VIVO searchlight browser plugin ( Participants in the beta search site include the 7 institutions participating in the NIH VIVO grant and Harvard University. Harvard Profiles ( is a distinct research networking application but uses the VIVO ontology for internal data representation and for data sharing on the Web.

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.

Ontology Documentation

Issue Tracking