Bio-Ontologies 2021

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. Join our mailing list and our slack team! Have something to say? Tweet to @bioontologies or send an email to the organizers - .

Bio-Ontologies will be in its 24th year at ISMB 2021 which will be held as a ONLINE CONFERENCE between July 25-29, 2021. Bio-ontologies strives 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 COSI 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 Community Group (HCLSCG), thereby increasing impact through broader dissemination and enabling new and exceptional collaborations. This year's event will be integrated into the main conference and will feature papers accepted for the ISMB proceedings.

Program is available at ISMB:

Keynote Presentations

Call for Submissions - DEADLINE Thursday, May 6, 2021 (Key Dates as per ISMB)

We invite the submission of 1 page poster abstracts, and 2-4 page short papers for oral presentation. Please prepare your submission using the templates at the bottom of the site. Topics include but not limited to:

  • Ontologies to support COVID-19 research

  • Ontologies in annotation and metadata standards

  • Machine learning and ontologies

  • Text mining and ontologies

  • Ontology evolution, quality and evaluation

  • Ontologies, knowledge representation and reasoning

Submissions can be made on the ISMB site (). All submissions accepted for oral presentation can optionally also be presented as a poster. Accepted submissions require that one author register for the conference and present the work. The presenter should identify themselves as the corresponding author during the submission process. The presentations are normally allocated between 20 minutes.

Review Criteria

All submissions to Bio-Ontologies are reviewed. Review criteria include :

  1. Relevance of the topic to conference attendees.

  2. Significance of the problem, such that reviewers understand that it is a problem that is important and worth solving.

  3. Novelty of the approach, including critical discussion of related work.

  4. Soundness and potential for reproducibility of the study and/or methods.

  5. Quality of writing, including readability and clearly stated contribution(s)

Special Issue

Submissions accepted for oral presentation will be considered for invitation to a Special Issue in the Journal of Biomedical Semantics. Research that has been accepted as poster presentation may also be invited for further development to the JBMS special issue.

Organizing Committee

Michel Dumontier, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

Robert Hoehndorf, King Abdullah University of Science & Technology, Saudi Arabia

Tiffany Callahan, University of Colorado, United States

Nuria Queralt Rosinach, Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum, The Netherlands

Maxat Kulmanov, King Abdullah University of Science & Technology, Saudi Arabia

Xiaolin Yang, Institute of Basic Medical, Sciences Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences , China

Session Chairs:

  • Tiffany Callahan

  • Nuria Queralt Rosinach

Previous Meetings

Online (2020), Basel (2019), Chicago (2018), Prague (2017), 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

Templates for Bio-Ontologies submissions: