Research Graph and VIVO Interoperability

Dr Amir Aryani

1ANDS, Malvern, Australia


In this presentation, we report on an interoperability project between VIVO and Research Graph. Research Graph holds a large-scale network of scholarly records including publications, grants, datasets and researcher records. One of the capabilities of Research Graph network is the rapid integration with external repositories using XML crosswalks. The aim of this presentation is to demonstrate how to create a Research Graph database from an open access repository, enriching this graph  using  the international network of scholarly communication, and finally transform this graph database  to a VIVO  instance. Furthermore, we demonstrate this data can be transformed into the collaboration network visualisation in VIVO.


Research Graph ( is an open collaborative project derived from the outcome of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) working group on the Data Description Registry Interoperability [1]. This project addresses the problem of connecting  scholarly  works  across heterogeneous systems. The RDA working group recommendation provided a solution for connecting  publications  and  research  data  (data  in  research) across   multiple  open  access  repositories  using  co-authorship model and jointly funded research projects. The group had participants from Australian National Data Service (ANDS), Dryad (US),  CERN  InspireHEP  (Switzerland),  figshare  (UK),  da|ra  and GESIS (Germany), Data Curation Unit (Greece), OpenAIRE (European Infrastructure), ORCID, and DataCite.  Research Graph adopts and extends this work by creating a distributed graph that connects open access repositories to close research management systems traditionally locked behind the firewall [2].   In addition, the distributed  graph  addresses the challenge of scalability and enables individual universities and repositories to hold a small and manageable graph and synthesis this graph with trusted partner organisations.

VIVO [3] originated at Cornell University and was developed as an open source enterprise system with Funding by the US National Institutes of Health 2009-2012.   VIVO uses a collection of ontologies,  including  the  VIVO Integrated Semantic Framework (VIVO-ISF [4]) to  represent scholarship.   VIVO is in use at more than 150 sites in 26 countries.   VIVO data regarding scholarship can be queried using the W3C standard SPARQL query language, and has been pooled into a global search capability, CTSAsearch, hosted by the University of Iowa.

In this presentation, we demonstrate how the Research Graph data can be linked to 150 VIVO sites. In addition, we discuss, a new collaborative project between VIVO and Research Graph to have a rapid solution for launching VIVO instances from Research Graph data.


In Open Repository Conference 2017 [2], the authors presented how to create an Open Linked Data model for Research Graph using VIVO ontology. We have extended this work by providing an automated pipeline for ingesting XML from Open  Access Repositories,  transform these records into   VIVO RDF, and integrate them into an operational VIVO instance. In addition, we are working on a rapid deployment platform that enables automated ETL between research data repositories (and open access repositories such as DSpace) to Research Graph. The vision is to link disconnected scholarly  works  to  the  global  network  of  scholarly communication, and we hope this work makes the research information more connected, discoverable and reusable. Figure 2 shows the pipeline for transforming DSpace records to a graph database and also make them accessible via VIVO instance.

Figure 2: From DSpace to Research Graph and VIVO

Although this is a work in progress, we aim to show a live demo of the pipeline presented in Figure 2.


In this presentation, we will report on the progress of the work on VIVO and Research Graph interoperability. This presentation builds on the prior work presented in the recent Open Repository Conference where we presented the initial mapping between VIVO RDF and Research Graph metamodel. Given the aim of this work is to provide production level solution for research management systems, we will demonstrate the outcome of our work in action, and we discuss the technical challenges, and the roadmap for future developments toward a sustainable and accessible solution.



  1. Amir  Aryani,   Data  Description  Registry  Interoperability  WG:  Interlinking  Method  and  Specification  of

Cross-Platform Discovery, Research Data Alliance, doi:10.15497/RDA00003

  1. Conlon, Michael, Aryani, Amir, Creating an open linked data model for Research Graph using VIVO Ontology

Conference, Open Repositories CONFERENCE, 2017, Brisbane, Australia

  1. Börner, K., Conlon, M., Corson-Rikert, J., Ding, Y. (eds.) VIVO: A Semantic Approach to Scholarly Networking

and Discovery, Morgan-Claypool, 2012. p. 1-175.

  1. OpenRIF: VIVO integrated semantic framework data standard github repository. Web site (accessed on Nov 20,



Dr Amir Aryani is the co-chair of the Data Description Registry Interoperability WG in Research Data Alliance and the project lead for the Research Data Switchboard. He is working in the capacity of a project manager for Australian National University (ANDS), and part of this role is to manage ANDS interoperability projects with international partners. He has completed his PhD in the field of software evolution at the school of computer science, RMIT university, and he has peer-reviewed publications in fields of Software Engineering, Software Evolution and eResearch.

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