Bio-Ontologies 2020

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 23nd year at ISMB 2020 which will be held in Montreal, Canada between July 12-16, 2020. 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.

Submissions 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):

  • Knowledge Graphs
  • Collaborative Ontology Authoring and Knowledge capture
  • Ontology Powered Applications
  • Bio-Curation and Crowdsourcing
  • Automated Annotation Pipelines
  • Use of Ontologies in Data Standards
  • FAIR (meta)data, Software, and Services
  • Machine learning and deep learning with Ontologies
  • The Learning Health System
  • Use of ontologies in text mining applications
  • Ontology growth, mapping and repair
  • Research in Ontology Evaluation
  • Updates on Newly Developed or Existing Bio-Ontologies

Key Dates (as per ISMB)

Thursday, April 16, 2020: Abstracts Submission Deadline

Monday, April 20, 2020: Late Posters Submissions Open

Thursday, May 14, 2020: Talk and/or Poster Acceptance Notifications

Thursday, May 28, 2020: Late Posters Submissions Deadline

Thursday, June 4, 2020: Late Posters Acceptance Notifications

Keynotes: TBD

Program: TBD

Call for Submissions

We invite the submission of abstracts for talks and posters that will be presented at the Bio-Ontologies COSI track at ISMB. Papers are invited in the following three areas:

1. The development of biological and biomedical ontologies to represent and structure knowledge.

2. Ontology-focused tools and methods (e.g. ontology engineering, ontology alignment, biocuration, information extraction, text mining, data integration) featuring biological use cases.

3. Biological applications of ontologies (e.g. ontologies use in data mining, machine learning, visualization, knowledge graphs, semantic query answering)

Submissions can be made on the ISMB site ( ). 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

  1. Relevance, interest, and value 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)

Organizing Committee

Michel Dumontier, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

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

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

Previous Meetings

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