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VIVO: Creating a virtual community to foster interdisciplinary research Or how Leibniz, Ans & Ari van Tienhoven, and Tim Berners-Lee helped us do it. Janet.

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Presentation on theme: "VIVO: Creating a virtual community to foster interdisciplinary research Or how Leibniz, Ans & Ari van Tienhoven, and Tim Berners-Lee helped us do it. Janet."— Presentation transcript:

1 VIVO: Creating a virtual community to foster interdisciplinary research Or how Leibniz, Ans & Ari van Tienhoven, and Tim Berners-Lee helped us do it. Janet McCue Director, Mann Library AUL for Life Sciences Cornell University Library ARL Meeting, October 2007

2 Cornell University

3 “Harvard scientists span the range of the life, physical, medical, and engineering sciences. Their number and range represent both a strength and a weakness. In principle, there are almost limitless opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, but our size makes it hard for each investigator to find potential collaborators in the larger community of scholars, especially outside their fields." Enhancing Science and Engineering at Harvard University Planning Committee for Science and Engineering Harvard University December 2006

4 Department – Open hiring policy; Campus wide research & educational activities; Goal: Draw together the "biologists, physicists, chemists, computational scientists and engineers in an atmosphere where traditional departmental and college boundaries become secondary to the intellectual work itself." Cornell's New Life Sciences Initiative Kathy Chiang Head, Life Sciences and Specialized Services Jon Corson-Rikert Head, Information Technology Services Medha Devare Bioinformatics and Life Sciences Librarian Ans & Ari van Tienhoven

5 “An essential process is the joining together of subcultures when a wider common language is needed. Often two groups independently develop very similar concepts, and describing the relationship between them brings great benefits. Like a Finnish-English dictionary, or a weights and measure conversion table, the relations allow communication and collaboration even when the commonality of concept has not (yet) led to a commonality of terms.” Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler, Ora Lassila, “The Semantic Web,” Scientific American, May 2001

6 VIVO is a way to connect people: Helps faculty, administrators, and students discover common interests and connections; Allows Cornell to transcend the campus, dept, and administrative structures; Provides an integrated view of the life sciences at Cornell; Uses an entity-relationship model to organize and present information on people, research, and education activities; Leverages concepts and standards from the semantic web community to provide seamless access to diverse resources; Supplements the discovery power of search engines by presenting each displayed page in a context of related information; Provides a discovery and navigation layer above the 10M diffuse webpages at Cornell.



9 Sample search in VIVO: “proteom*”


11 Sources of Content OHR - appointments OSP data warehouse Potentially from Registrar’s database Student/librarian entry OHR – name & title Student/librarian entry

12 Sources of Content Continued Student/librarian entry Annual faculty reporting Potentially available via faculty reporting

13 Faculty reporting dataflows Data from central databases combined with self-reported data Integrated data syndicated for Web display Selected data and quantitative summaries exported to enterprise data warehouse for administrative reporting

14 VIVO in 2003:  Potential benefits of Semantic Web technologies clear but tools & work applications scarce;  Designed and built our own software that emulated the performance of Semantic Web applications but still relied on conventional relational database technologies. VIVO in 2007:  Tools available to leverage standard formats had matured considerably;  Exchange data with other systems via import and export routines;  Validate our models;  Execute more advanced queries; Construct inferences;  Bring remote data into VIVO in real time;  Semantic Web Technologies are ready for production use at least at the scale of VIVO and can provide real benefits.

15 With these tools, we can: – Provide better documentation and more flexibility for back-end storage, including Oracle & MySQL; – Support a more detailed, customizable, and extensible faculty reporting system for Cornell; – Add reasoning engines directly into VIVO to dynamically update inferred categories.

16 Defined classes Use inferencing from classes, properties, and their values to group and/or filter content

17 OWL 1.1 property chaining Data reported by country can be retrieved by region or continent

18 Researchers to find facilities, equipment, and collaborators; People who should perhaps be collaborators based on new intellectual directions or common research interests or even on patterns or clusters of thematic phrases mined from web pages linked to their VIVO entries; Students to find courses based on how their interests overlap those of faculty, rather than just by scanning course titles and abstracts in the course catalog; Visitors unfamiliar with Cornell can navigate directly to a Web page of interest and understand its context without having to first unravel college and department structures -- whether starting from Google, the Cornell search engine, or VIVO itself. VIVO's flexible and open-ended data model will allow:

19 Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716) 17 th Century German philosopher, mathematician and librarian Believed that scientific progress depends on the ease of communication between scholars & that the role of the library was to keep open the channels of communication.

20 “Our knowledge about life on Earth is growing rapidly through advances in scientific disciplines ranging from microbiology to paleontology, from geology to astrobiology. The integration of that knowledge is increasing our understanding about the interconnected nature of life…” Lanting, Frans. LIFE: A Journey Through Time. TASCHEN, 2006 We are living in an extraordinary time:

21 To learn more about VIVO, see: "VIVO: Connecting people, creating a virtual life sciences community." Medha Devare, Jon Corson-Rikert et al. D-Lib Magazine (July-August 2007): 1-18. "VIVO: Case Study of an Ontology-Based Web Site." Brian Lowe, Jon Corson-Rikert, and Medha Devare. Technical Report FS-06-06, Semantic Web for Collaborative Knowledge Acquisition: papers from the AAAI Fall Symposium, 106-107, AAAI Press, 2006. "VIVO Development Roadmap: Enhancing an Ontology-Based University Research Portal with OWL and Rules" 258/paper05.pdf, Proceedings of the OWLED 2007 Workshop on OWL: Experiences and Directions 2007 Innsbruck, Austria June 6-7, 2007. 258/paper05.pdf Cornell's New Life Sciences Initiative: http://www.lifesciences.cornell.edu

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