Ithaca, NY Like open access and open source, open data is part of current concepts around increased transparency in private and public information. On-the-fly and serendipitous mashups built on freely-shared content are often highlighted in social networks as accomplishments, insights and reports about sometimes dramatic news events. Open access and open source developments are fueled by shared ethics around responsibility and community values that make scholarly resources accessible and help to build well-known and useful community-based software. Now new examples of open data implementations are making it possible to understand the value of access to shared data.
The VIVO project is one such example. It provides publicly available information on the people, departments, graduate fields, facilities, and other resources that collectively make up the research and scholarship environment at institutions to help scientists and researchers learn about about who's doing what. Typically finding colleagues doing particular types of research has involved getting access to complex and proprietary institutional databases. VIVO is "an interdisciplinary national network enabling collaboration and discovery among scientists across all disciplines." (http://vivoweb.org/) It is also an open source, semantic web application based on information stored using RDF. VIVO is a working example of how linked and open data can facilitate connections using data structured in the form of “triples” as subject-predicate-object.
Dean Krafft, Chief Technology Strategist Cornell University Library, recently praised the distributed VIVO team: "After two years many large, distributed technology projects are often still figuring out how to proceed. VIVO built a working system and a community in two years with a highly talented and motivated team."
On VIVO's immediate agenda is the Second Annual VIVO Conference due to be held in Washington, DC Aug. 24-26, 2011 where more than 300 national and international attendees are expected. Workshops focused on the development and implementation of VIVO, the associated open source project and how to plan for marketing and outreach will be offered along with two full days of scientific sessions, lightning talks and posters. Follow and participate in the 2011 Conference on Twitter: #vivo11.