| National Science Foundation
Ask any scientist what he or she is working on, and you might be surprised at just how specific most of the answers can be. A marine biologist may have devoted much of the past 20 years, for example, to examining how changes in wave action impact the reproduction of a specific microorganism in the waters off the west coast of Florida. Now imagine that an engineering graduate student is working on perfecting a desalinization plant near Tampa, and could really use the biologist's insights. How do the two scientists find each other?
Enter VIVO, a project led by University of Florida researcher Michael Conlon that seeks to help researchers find collaborators and carry out their research more efficiently. VIVO, supported with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will create profiles of scientists and their research and help match them up when needed. NSF-funded investigator Katy Börner is in charge of creating VIVO's social network. The project also hopes to use existing computational infrastructure such as NSF's Open Science Grid to help expand the project to as many institutions as possible. As scientific endeavors become increasing interdisciplinary, many scientists may soon find VIVO to be the perfect match.