Bio-Ontologies (#bioontologies) is an ISMB Community of Special Interest (COSI) that covers the latest and most innovative research in the application of ontologies and more generally the organisation, presentation and dissemination of knowledge in biomedicine and the life sciences.

Bio-Ontologies is celebrating its 20th year at ISMB in 2017, which will be held in Prague, Czech Republic July 21-22, 2017. It continues to provide a vibrant environment for reporting novel methods and sharing experiences on the construction and application of ontologies in health care and the life sciences. The informal nature of the SIG offers a constructive environment to nurture discussion of innovative and scientifically sound work that range from preliminary to completed, from both young and experienced investigators alike. Bio-Ontologies participants also benefit from a strongly interdisciplinary setting, where ISMB attendees intermingle with members from American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) and the W3C’s Healthcare and Life Sciences interest group (HCLSIG), thereby increasing impact through broader dissemination and enabling new and exceptional collaborations.

Key Dates

  • ISMB Proceedings Abstract Submission: Tuesday, January 3, 2017
  • Bio-Ontologies Call for Submissions: Thursday, April 13, 2017
  • Acceptance Notification: Wednesday, May 10, 2017
  • Poster Deadline: May 15, 2017
  • Early Bird Registration: June 15, 2017
  • Program Information: June 17, 2017

Call for Submissions

We invite the submission of short papers, flash updates and posters for presentation at the Bio-Ontologies SIG. Papers are invited in areas, such as the applications of bio-ontologies, newly developed bio-ontologies, and the use of ontologies in data sharing standards. Example topics include (but not limited to):

  • Collaborative Ontology Authoring
  • Use of Ontologies in Data Standards
  • Machine-driven ontology development
  • Semantic Web Enabled Applications
  • Role of Bio-Ontologies in the Learning Health System
  • Deep learning with Ontologies
  • Platforms for Bio-Curation
  • Automated Annotation Pipelines
  • Use of ontologies in text mining applications
  • Ontology growth, mapping and repair
  • Research in Ontology Engineering and Ontology Evaluation
  • Flash updates on Newly Developed or Existing Bio-Ontologies

Deadlines and Presentation Length

We welcome short research papers (4 pages), flash updates (1 page) and poster abstracts (1 page) as a PDF using the Bio-ontologies template for papers ( or updates/posters ( Submissions can be made on the easychair site ( Please note that accepted submissions require that one author present the work. The research presentations are normally allocated between 20-25 minutes while flash updates are presented in 5-10 minutes. The presenter must register and pay to attend the conference and the presenter should identify themselves as the corresponding author during the submission process.

Review Criteria

  1. Relevance, interest, and value of the topic to conference attendees.
  2. Significance of the problem, such that reviewers understand the potential for impact.
  3. Novelty of the approach, including suitable treatment of related work.
  4. Soundness and potential for reproducibility of the proposed method.
  5. Quality of writing, including readability and clearly stated contribution(s)

Program Committee

coming soon

Organizing Committee

Michel Dumontier, Maastricht University

Philippe Rocca-Serra, University of Oxford

Karin Verspoor, University of Melbourne

Previous Meetings

Orlando (2016), Dublin (2015), Boston (2014), Berlin (2013), Long Beach (2012), Vienna (2011), Boston (2010), Stockholm (2009), Toronto (2008), Vienna (2007), Fortaleza (2006), Detroit (2005), Glasgow (2004), Brisbane (2003), Edmonton (2002), Copenhagen (2001), San Diego (2000), Heidelberg (1999), Montreal (1998).


Have suggestions for this year? We'd love to hear from you at