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VIVO: track, search, and visualize scientific activities

The VIVO project aims at building a platform for research, collecting and presenting researchers and their research and activities within the BUA.


So far, information about researchers and their research and activities at Berlin's universities is mostly scattered and lacks a comprehensive orientation option. A common catalog that integrates the existing offerings of the universities and the information available on the Web would enable transparency and make networking across disciplines easier. In addition, such a virtual contact and information point can improve the science communication and the transfer of knowledge. This project requires an administration and analysis platform in order to coordinate master data management and to establish a federated, user-oriented research information platform, which at the same time provides a single view of the participating institutions.


VIVO is a platform for presenting and managing data of researchers and faculty members and at the same time an ontology for the representation of existing research information systems. The open source software uses techniques of the Semantic Web to present people and their work in a structured and searchable way. Also research data, research devices, and social platforms can be integrated. Network analysis, expert identification, visualization and analysis of research impact are direct components of the platform.

VIVO is intended to serve as a foundation for the development of the research information platforms. It has an established, large international community, is feature-rich, and the project can benefit from existing broad interface offerings and Big Data analytics. Current standards include: CASRAI, EUROCRIS, DCterms, BIBO, OCLC, ORCiD, BFO, Vcard, and many import and harvesting functions for established information platforms are supported. This eliminates multiple development efforts such that the project can focus on the key functional design aspects. In the BUA context, for example, a connection to the OpenIRIS portal would be desirable, which has so far been used primarily by the Charité and the BIH to manages its research infrastructures (equipment, services, core facilities, etc.) in a searchable and bookable way via an open source software.


The Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin was represented at the last VIVO international conferences and has already explored the possible collaboration with VIVO. For a stronger cooperation, the platinum-status within the VIVO community is required, which allows a direct involvement in the future developments of the platform. The sustainability of the software and the platform are thus guaranteed and predictable in terms of effort, cost and outcome. In perspective, the research information platforms can become a one-stop-shop of the network for access to the multitude of research resources. For this purpose, the platform should be a kind of data-aggregating meta-portal with a search function and, among other things, an overview with links to the other thematic subareas. This platform also contributes to a further development of offered services.

Keywords: VIVO, Research data data mangement, Research information systems, Open access, Open research, Symantic web, Linked-data, Web 3.0.


  • Development of a platform for the research, research information and presentation of scientists and their research and activities.
  • Establishment of a federated research information platform on the basis of standard-compliant research and personal data, including data mining.
  • Development of an ontology within the BUA to represent the desired data analyses, visualizations and aggregations.


The current phase runs for 2.5 years, until Dec. 31, 2023.