VIZ–VIVO: Towards visualizations-driven linked data navigation

Scholars@Cornell is a new project of Cornell University Library (CUL) that provides linked data and novel visualizations of the scholarly record. Our goal is to enable easy discovery of explicit and latent patterns that can reveal high-impact research areas, the dynamics of scholarly collaboration, and expertise of faculty and researchers. We describe VIZ-VIVO, an extension for the VIVO framework that enables end-user exploration of a scholarly knowledge-base through a configurable set of data-driven visualizations. Unlike systems that provide web pages of researcher profiles using lists and directory-style metaphors, our work explores the power of visual metaphors for navigating a rich semantic network of scholarly data modeled with the VIVO-ISF ontology. We produce dynamic web pages using D3 visualizations and bridge the user experience layer with the underlying semantic triple-store layer. Our selection of visual metaphors enables end users to start with the big picture of scholarship and navigate to individuals faculty and researchers within a macro visual context. The D3-enabled interactive environment can guide the user through a sea of scholarly data depending on the questions the user wishes to answer. In this paper, we discuss our process for selection, design, and development of an initial set of visualizations as well as our approach to the underlying technical architecture. By engaging an initial set of pilot partners we are evaluating the use of these data-driven visualizations by multiple stakeholders, including faculty, students, librarians, administrators, and the public.