Where does VIVO get its data?

VIVO at UF gets its data from a combination of manual processes - people typing data into VIVO, and automated processes - VIVO collecting data from various University and published data sources. Here we describe how VIVO gets all its data and how you can participate.

VIVO has a large amount of data. See the Index tab at the top right of any VIVO page to see a display of all the different types of things for which VIVO has some data. Click on any entry in the index to navigate to lists of things by type.

Manual Data

Some of the data in VIVO is entered by hand. When VIVO does not have an automated source for data, people can enter data directly. Data coming from university systems by automated processes cannot generally be edited in VIVO. If you find incorrect data that you cannot correct by hand, you may be able to change the data in the university system that automatically supplies data to VIVO. See the following sections for description of the automated feeds and how data may be corrected in each.

Self Edit

Some of the data elements you can enter in VIVO include your photo, your alternate email and phone number, your presentations, research interests, papers you have written, awards you have received, service to the profession, teaching interests and much more.

To edit data in VIVO, log on to VIVO using your GatorLink username and password. You will be directed to your profile. Click on the "+" icon for the item you want to change or add. Change or add your data and click Save.

Proxy Edit

Your department can arrange to have a person enter data in VIVO for other members of your department. The VIVO team will train and support the person designated by your department. Contact us using the Contact link at the bottom of every page in VIVO.

VIVO Team Editing

The VIVO team has pre-populated VIVO with information required by the UF community. The organizational structure of the university has been entered - all offices, departments, colleges, institutes, centers, labs, clinics, extension locations and many more. Universities, colleges, companies, foundations and other organizations who have relationships with the university have also been entered. States, countries, counties of Florida, cities and other locations have been entered. This data is constantly being improved. If you have items to be entered, please contact the VIVO team using the Contact link.

The rest of this document describes the automated data feeds for VIVO at the University of Florida.

Automated Data Collection

Working with various offices of the University, the VIVO team has created automated feeds from "systems of record" - the official data of the university. In some cases, the official data is incomplete, or otherwise incorrect and has made its way into VIVO. In such cases, the VIVO team is happy to work with you to have the corrections made in the systems of record, which then results in correct data in VIVO. VIVO has five automated data feeds: 1) Contact information coming from Enterprise Systems; 2) Grant award information coming from the Division of Sponsored Research; 3) Position Information coming from Human Resource Services; 4) Course sections taught coming from the Office of the University Registrar; and 5) Papers published coming from the Library. Additional feeds may be added in the future. All other information in VIVO comes from manual data entry. These feeds are described below.

Contact Information

UF Enterprise Systems provides contact information to VIVO as changes are made in the UF Directory through myUFL. Data is automatically updated in VIVO every two hours.

The following data elements are automatically updated in VIVO from Enterprise Systems:

New hires to UF are automatically added to VIVO. People who leave UF are automatically tagged in VIVO as "former". VIVO includes faculty, emeritus faculty, postdocs, and TEAMS staff.

Students (undergraduate and graduate) are added to VIVO upon request - please contact the VIVO Team if you are a student and would like to be added. Once added, all automated updates described here apply and you will be able to manually edit your information.

Grant Award Information

All grant awards made to and from the University of Florida to UF awardees or to external awardees since Jan 1, 2008 are available in VIVO.

For each award, VIVO presents data from the Division of Sponsored Research including:

These data are linked to the appropriate entities in VIVO. So, for example, if an award is made by the National Science Foundation, a link is made from the award to the National Science Foundation page in VIVO. When visiting the National Science Foundation page, you will see all the awards the agency has made to the University. Similar, awards are linked to investigators and to the departments administering awards.

For sub-awards to other universities and groups, the award is linked to the recipient organization. For example, visiting the Massachusetts General Hospital page, you will see the sub-awards that have been made by UF to Massachusetts General Hospital. Awards are added to VIVO from the Division of Sponsored Research once a week.

If data regarding an award needs to be corrected, please contact the VIVO team who will work with DSR to correct the source system data and its presentation in VIVO.

Position Information

Position information includes title, organization and dates of service for positions held. An automated process adds all current UF positions. The university does not maintain records of previously held positions.

Position information regarding organizations is cross-linked - people who have had positions in organizations are listed in the organization as previously affiliated.

Position information can be manually edited. Additional positions can be added and position information which has been automatically created by automated processes can be edited. Changes made to position data that has been generated by automated processes may be overwritten by those processes in the future. Additional positions and edits made to manually edited positions will not be edited by automated processes.

Current status: The processes described here for automated position information are expected to be implemented in spring of 2013. At the current time, manual edit is the method for maintaining all position information.

Course Section Information

VIVO has complete teaching records for all UF instructors for all course sections taught back to and including fall of 2008. For each course section, VIVO includes:

Course information is cross linked. All course sections taught by an instructor are linked to that instructor. All instructors of a course section are linked to the course section. All course sections of a course are linked to the course. Course sections are also linked to the term they were taught.

Course section data is added to VIVO approximately three months following the end of the term. Summer course data for all summer terms is added in the fall.

If you have a question about the course data in VIVO, please contact the VIVO team via the Contact link. We will work with the Office of the University Registrar as needed.

Papers published

UF authors publish many papers with many collaborators from across the world. Approximately 6,000 papers are published by UF authors each year. UF VIVO uses public bibliometric data (elements commonly available in the public domain) formatted and provided by Thomson-Reuters Web of Knowledge, under licensing provided by the UF Smathers Library. Each week, publications of UF authors are identified in Web of Knowledge. The resulting public data is automatically entered into VIVO. VIVO creates and maintains data on

If you find a paper has an error or has been erroneously attributed to you, please contact the VIVO team. We will immediately correct the problem. See Disambiguation for a further explanation of why this error occurs and how VIVO is working with others across the world to improve the accuracy of information about scholarship.


The academic paper publishing business has been in existence for hundreds of years. Each paper contains an author list with the names of the authors. These names are not sufficient information to determine who, across the entire world of scholarship, wrote the paper. Many names are common, and even within a discipline it may be unclear which of several alternates may have written a paper, unless additional information is supplied. One might say that the information is incomplete to make a precise determination of authorship. The processes used to determine authorship are called disambiguation.

Two errors are possible - "false positives" - associating a paper to a person incorrectly (the person did not write the paper), and "false negatives" - failing to associate a paper to the person who wrote it.

Disambiguation is a well-known and common problem in the world of scholarship. Three techniques are typically used to associate papers to authors, and the techniques may be used in combination:

  1. Heuristics - complex software algorithms use keywords, paper content, affiliation information and other clues to attempt to associate papers to authors. Well-known examples of heuristic approaches include Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search.
  2. Identifiers. Thomson-Reuters IDs and many other systems have been created to attempt to provide identifiers for all the authors in scholarship and then have those identifiers used when papers are written. Properly implemented, this would resolve the disambiguation problem. No implementation to date has resulted in significant proportions of scholars having identifiers. A recent effort to provide identifiers for scholars is ORCID - the Open Researcher Contributor ID. VIVO works closely with ORCID. You can visit the ORCID web site to learn more.
  3. Claiming. Many systems "ask" the authors to identify their papers. This typically involves a web interface where scholars are presented with a list of papers that "might" be theirs and are asked to confirm. Several systems use claiming processes to improve the accuracy of associations of papers to people.

VIVO at UF uses Thomson Reuters reported affiliation data (the information the author supplied the publisher at the time of the publication) to determine which authors on a paper are UF authors. It then uses name matching to identify which person at UF has the name of the author on the paper. When more than one author with the given name is found, a manual review is conducted to determine which of the several people at UF with the particular name has written the paper. Less than 5% of all authors on papers require manual review. Manual review is typically very accurate - authors are easily attributed based on discipline and previous publishing history among the alternatives.