The International Conference on Biomedical Ontology

It’s good to see the calls for the next International Conference on biomedical Ontology coming out; this time it’s to be held in Lisbon, Portugal on 27 – 30 July 2015. I encourage biomedical ontology folk to write papers and schedule themselves to get themselves along to Lisbon in July 2015.


The blurb about ontologies on the ICBO site is: “Ontologies are increasingly used in the semantic description of biological and medical data from creation to publication and consumption by semantically enabled applications. To be effective, such ontologies must be of high quality and work well together. Therefore, issues like techniques for ontology use, good ontology design, ontology maintenance, and ontology coordination need to be addressed. The International Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO) series,, is designed to meet this need. ICBO 2015, the sixth event in the highly successful series, will bring together representatives of all major communities involved in ontology use and development in biomedical research, health care, and related areas.”


This covers the usual topics in biomedical ontologies, but that’s because there’s still a lot to do. Biomedical ontology is maturing, but there is still too much that is ad hoc and craft based; there are islands of good practice, but we need to learn from those and spread that best practice and really find out what works in the development, assessment and application of biomedical ontologies.


Here I especially want to encourage submissions to the workshops at ICBO that Melanie Courtot and Joao Ferreira are charing. Workshops are a great opportunity to focus upon a particular aspect of biomedical ontologies and, ideally, explore that topic deeply with interaction with the participants – workshops where work is done…

The deadline for workshop submissions is 10 February 2015 via the ICBO 2015 EasyChair site. I want to attend a workshop on programmatic development of ontologies where I can experience the various ways of avoiding hand-crafting of axioms and achieve bulk upload of axioms according to patterns etc etc. So, someone organise that and I should come along (to that one), but I’ll come to ICBO 2015 anyway; ICBO is informative and fun, and Lisbon is ace.

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