FORCE2020 Call for Proposals is open

The program committee for the FORCE2020 meeting in Donostia San Sebastián, Spain (October 19-21, 2020) now invites proposals for presentations, lightning talks, posters, demos, panels, roundtables, and workshops on the theme of “Thinking/Acting: The Global and the Local” The deadline for submissions is April 20, 2020. For more details about the CFP please visit the FORCE2020 page.


The FORCE11 annual conference brings together a wide variety of stakeholders in the scholarly communication ecosystem for open discussions, on an even playing field, about collaboration and cross-training that will move the needle on how scholarly and scientific information is communicated, shared and used. Researchers, publishers, librarians, computer scientists, informaticians, funders, educators, students, citizens, and others attend the FORCE11 meeting with a view to supporting the realisation of promising new ideas and identifying new potential collaborators.

Virtual Workshop on Data Metrics, February 19, 2020

Virtual Workshop on Data Metrics, February 19 9:00-3:30 US EST
The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Data Science Strategy will host a virtual workshop on assessing dataset and data resource value and reach on Wednesday, Feb. 19, beginning at 9 a.m. The goal of this workshop is to discuss core metrics, use cases, and best practices to better understand open data usage and impact. The workshop will focus on two types of data resources – repositories and knowledgebases – and will bring together managers and users of diverse biomedical data resources to discuss community-supported best practices for data metrics. NIH Data Science IdeaScale will be used before and after the workshop to gather input from the community. We especially welcome your idea input prior to the workshop and may use suggestions during the workshop panel sessions.

Workshop links:

Nominations open for 2020 Biocuration Award

The International Society for Biocuration (ISB) is happy to announce that nominations are now open for the 2020 Biocuration Career Awards. Please note that the Exceptional Contribution award is made biannually and will next be presented in 2021.

Biocuration Career Award

The Biocuration Career Award recognizes biocurators in non-leadership positions who have made sustained contributions to the field of biocuration.

The recipient will be invited to give a presentation at the Biocuration 2020 Conference, with expenses paid by the ISB.

The nominations will be reviewed by the ISB Award Committee, comprised of one member of the ISB’s Executive Committee (ISB-EC) and six (6) additional members from the wider research community; these members will be nominated by the ISB-EC based on diversity in area of expertise, organization type, role, and geographic location.

Who can nominate and/or be nominated? 

  • Any currently active ISB member may nominate anyone in the field of biocuration, whether the potential nominee is a member of ISB or not. 
  • Members of the ISB can make no more than 1 nomination. 
  • Those who hold Principal Investigator or Group Leader positions are not eligible for the Biocuration Career Award.
  • Those who hold Principal Investigator or Group Leader positions are intended recipients for the Exceptional Contribution Award.
  • Current members of the Executive Committee or the ISB Award Committee are not eligible for this award.
  • Self-nominations will not be considered. 

How to submit your nomination:

  • Nominations should be sent via email to the award committee at with the subject line “Biocuration Award Nominations”.
  • The nomination email should contain the following fields:
  • Nominator details (name, e-mail and affiliation, member of ISB);
  • Nominee details (name, e-mail and affiliation);
  • Short list of scholarly contributions (a maximum of 50 words);
  • Brief description of why you are recommending this person (a maximum of 350 words).

Deadline for submitting nominations:  Friday 22-February-2020

Call for Applications: ISB Travel Fellowships for Biocuration 2020

The International Society for Biocuration and the 1th International Biocuration Conference invite current ISB members to apply for Travel Fellowships to attend the 2020 conference in Bar Harbor, Maine, USA .

Deadline: February 29, 2020


We are pleased to provide current ISB members with a travel fellowship opportunity. We intend to support up to ten (10) applicants. Students, junior curators, curators from low-income countries, and curators from countries suffering from natural disasters are encouraged to apply. Selections will be prioritized by financial need.

Please note that applying for a fellowship does not guarantee that you will receive funding.

Each award will be issued as reimbursement for up to CHF $ 1,500 per fellowship depending on the costs of your registration and travel (e.g. hotel, flight, and ground transportation)

  • ISB Travel Fellows must be able to cover their own conference registration fees and travel cost before attending the conference. ISB Travel Fellows will then submit receipts to request a reimbursement from ISB. Save your receipts! 
  • A bank transfer for up to CHF $1,500 – depending on your registration and travel costs – will be arranged for ISB Travel Fellows.
  • The Biocuration Travel Fellowships Committee will advise you on how to receive these funds as reimbursement at the end of the conference.

Requirements and Procedures
Each applicant for a travel fellowship must satisfy the following conditions:

  • The applicant must be an active ISB member. To become a member go here: 
  • The applicant should have submitted a poster or oral presentation at the 13th International Biocuration Conference.
  • Only the presenting author from a multi-author abstract may apply for a fellowship.
  • The applicant must submit an accompanying letter explaining why s/he is requesting travel funds and how s/he envisions that attending the Biocuration Conference will benefit her/his career.
  • Application Deadline: application materials should be sent to ISB via email to with the subject line ‘Travel Fellowships to Biocuration 2020’ on or before February 29, 2020.

Notification of award will be sent via email by 14 March, 2020 and announced on the ISB website after acceptance of the award.

Applicants should review visa requirements and make all necessary arrangements on their own. 

Travel fellowship recipients describe their experience at [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference

Earlier this year, the ISB launched a new travel fellowship opportunity to fund scholars to attend the [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference.

Qaaifah Gillani Syed, PhD Student at University of Kashmir, India and Zannatun Nayema, PhD Student at Kanazawa University, Japan were awarded the travel fellowships.

A summary report is available here.


The results of the 2019 Elections of the ISB Executive Committee (EC) are in:

Congratulations to Ruth Lovering and Randi Vita!

Thank you to the ISB members who participated in this year’s election.

Welcome Ruth and Randi as new EC members, who are filling two open positions when the terms of Pete McQuilton and Andrew Su come to completion on 31 October 2019.

We would like to also express our sincere gratitude to Paola Roncaglia and Tamsin Jones, who who considered volunteering their time as part of the ISB EC this year.

Please join us in thanking Pete and Andrew for all their work over the past years.

We are also very grateful with the following ISB members who volunteered their time for a successful execution of the 2019 EC election:

2019 Nominating Committee:

  • Lorna Richardson (Elections officer)
  • Marc Robinson-Rechavi
  • Susan Clew
  • Rachael Huntley
  • Zhang Zhang
  • Raja Mazumder

Thank you again for participating in the 2019 ISB electoral process.

Your Colleagues at the ISB Executive Committee

Registration open for Biocuration 2020

Registration for the Biocuration 2020 conference is now open. The conference will be held from May 17-20, 2020 in Bar Harbor, Maine, USA.

Please be aware of key dates below:

October 31, 2019 – Paper Submission Deadline
January 24, 2020 – Abstract  and Workshop Submission Deadline
March 6, 2020 – Notification of Acceptance
April 6, 2020 – Early Bird Registration Ends
May 8, 2020 – Registration Deadline

More information is available on the Biocuration 2020 website.

Call for Papers: 13th International Society for Biocuration meeting, DATABASE Journal Virtual Issue

The International Biocuration Conference is a unique event for biocurators and developers of biological databases to discuss their work, promote collaborations, and foster a sense of community in this very active and growing area of research.  For the 13th International Biocuration Conference in Bar Harbor, Maine, USA, you are invited to submit your work for publication. This call for papers is done in collaboration between DATABASE: The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation and the International Society for Biocuration. The DATABASE journal will publish an online Virtual Issue of the accepted papers. See below for a link to last year’s issue. This is the perfect opportunity to enhance the recognition of your work and of our profession by the greater biological research communities.  Additionally, the Biocuration 2020 scientific committee will consider inclusion of accepted papers for full oral presentations at the conference. Note that you must also register and submit your abstract separately for the meeting. 

The manuscript review process will be expedited by the journal’s associated editors and they will thus need to be firm on the submission deadlines:

Submission deadline: October 31, 2019
First decisions: December 6, 2019
Deadline for revisions: January 10, 2020
Final decisions: February 28, 2020
Conference: May 17-20, 2020

Authors wishing to submit to DATABASE for the 2020 Biocuration Virtual issue should go to the DATABASE home page and click on the “Submission Site”  Submit menu option after having read the “Instructions to Authors”. Authors should CLEARLY state that they are submitting the manuscript for consideration for the Biocuration 2020 conference so that the DATABASE staff will ensure appropriate fast-track for inclusion in this meeting’s proceedings.  In addition, within the database submission form, you should also select “Biocuration Conference Paper” as a manuscript type.  We look forward to your participation at Biocuration 2020, the 13th International Biocuration Conference.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Submitting a paper to DATABASE does not in itself automatically register you to give a talk or poster at the Biocuration 2020 conference.  You must register for the meeting and submit your abstract separately to be considered for a presentation.  Information about abstract submission for the meeting will be announced soon.

The proceedings of the past International Biocuration Conference, the Biocuration Virtual Issue are online.

ISB membership payment issues resolved

If you have delayed joining the Society, or renewing an existing membership due to the problems we have been experiencing with our payment system, we are happy to announce that these have now been resolved and invite you to start/renew your membership now (

Please remember you must be a member of the Society to vote in the upcoming elections, which will be held from October 14-20, 2019. More information about the election is here

We apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused you.

Deadline extended for ISB Executive Committee (EC) Election 2019

The deadline for nominations for the ISB EC Election has been extended to 15 September, 2019

The election of the new International Society for Biocuration Executive Committee (ISB EC) will be held from 14 -20 October, 2019. The Executive Committee is composed of nine (9) members, each with a 3-year term. Being a member of the Executive Committee is a great way to become directly involved with the work of our society, and contribute to the decisions that are taken on behalf of the biocuration community. We would like to encourage all members interested in running for election to get involved in the process.

Serving on the ISB EC minimally involves attending monthly (1 hour)  teleconference meetings, following up on any action items from meetings, and  promoting the ISB’s activity to members and non-members. Examples of activities performed by EC members include reviewing micro-grant submissions, preparing call for participation for hosting Biocuration meetings, preparing materials for the ISB election, monitoring ISB mail and maintaining the website. There are specific positions such as Chair, Secretary and Treasurer that will require a larger time commitment, as they will be in charge of leading the steps of the EC and by extension the membership.

This year, there are two (2) open positions, as the terms of Andrew Su and Pete McQuilton will come to completion. (The current ISB EC members are here.)

2019 Electoral Process

A) The Nominating Committee:

A Nominating Committee (NC) has been formed to oversee the electoral process, to review applications, and establish the final list of candidates. We are very grateful for their assistance with the execution of this election. The members of the 2019 Nominating Committee are:

  • Marc Robinson-Rechavi 
  • Susan Clew
  • Rachael Huntley
  • Zhang Zhang
  • Raja Mazumder

B) Instructions to Candidates: 

  1. If you would like to run for a position on the Executive Committee, you must first register your intent with the NC by emailing
  2. Please fill out this form by 15 September 2019, which includes a ‘statement of intent‘, a brief biographical sketch, and a ‘conflict of interests‘ statement describing any activities, memberships of other associations, editorial positions on journals, etc. (Please email us at if you are unable to access this form.)

C) Timeline:

  • Nominations will be received until 15 September 2019.
  • The NC will review all candidacies and share their selections with the ISB Executive Committee by 29 September 2019.
  • Candidates must be announced to the membership and on website (with letters of intent) by 11 October 2019.
  • Voting will take place online over the course of one week from 14 October – 20 October 2019. (Further details about the voting process will be shared closer to the date). Lorna Richardson will act as election officer.
  • Only paying members* with registration fees cleared on or before 11 October 2019 will be allowed to vote. If you pay your registration via bank transfer, please allow at least 2-3 working days for the payment to be processed.

*Note – please contact us at if you have issues with registering or renewing your membership. Known issues exist with our membership payment system.

The Nominating Committee is looking forward to receiving your applications!