Improving Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in Biocuration Webinar

In lieu of hosting a workshop at the Biocuration2020 conference, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion subcommittee of the International Society for Biocuration will host a 30-minute webinar that will be open to the Biocuration community.

Title: Improving Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in Biocuration
When: Monday, 11th May
Time: 8.30-9.00am PT/4.30-5.00pm BST
Where: Zoom (details to be sent before the webinar – please register below)
Host: The EDI subcommittee of the ISB
Speakers: Nicole Vasilevsky (Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA), Rachael Huntley (SciBite, Cambridge, UK), Moni Munoz-Torres (Oregon State University, Berkeley, CA, USA)

The webinar outline is as follows:

  1. Introduction to the EDI subcommittee
  2. Overview of work to date: the ISB conference Code of Conduct, recommendations for conference organizers & analysis of the ISB conference gender distributions over the past 10 years
  3. discussion/brainstorm for what our goals should be for the upcoming year.

Please register here.

We will email you the zoom link and a password the night before the webinar.

The webinar recording is available here.


It is our great pleasure to announce the recipient of the 2020 Biocuration Award:

Midori Harris from PomBase, University of Cambridge, UK was unanimously selected for the Biocuration Career Award.

Midori started her career in biocuration at Saccharomyces Genome Database as a curator and Gene Ontology (GO) developer. Her colleague, Val Wood, the PomBase project manager, attributes a large part of the success of GO to Midori’s insight, precision and clarity. Midori currently works for PomBase, which now benefits from her skills in both curation best practice, and in the development of the Fission Yeast Phenotype Ontology (FYPO). Midori is currently collaborating with EBI and Monarch Initiative to integrate FYPO into uPheno which will help to provide much needed generic phenotype terms for describing cell level phenotypes. She also now maintains the Fungal Anatomy Ontology FAO. All of these projects have far reaching benefits across many areas of biocuration and biology.

Thank you to the Award committee:

  • Tiffany Callahan, Computational Biology PhD Candidate at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, USA
  • Violeta Ilik, Head Digital Collections and Preservation Systems at Columbia University in the City of New York, USA
  • Varsha Khodiyar, Data Curation Manager at Springer Nature, UK
  • Michael Livstone, Senior Scientific Data Curator at Bristol-Myers Squibb, USA
  • Luana Licata, Scientific Database Curator at University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Italy
  • Zhang Zhang, Professor at National Genomics Data Center, China

Congratulations to Midori!

Biocuration 2020 Meeting is Cancelled

From the Biocuration 2020 conference organizers:

After continuous monitoring of the evolving situation with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Biocuration 2020 conference organizers in conjunction with the International Society for Biocuration made the decision to cancel the 2020 meeting that was scheduled to take place May 17-20 in Bar Harbor, Maine, USA.

Cancelling this meeting was a difficult decision made after careful thought and deliberation. This evidence-based decision was made after a thorough review of all factors impacting the conference, including the U.S. government’s enforcement of restrictions on international travelers to enter the U.S.; the imposition of travel restrictions issued by U.S. government agencies, cancer centers, academic institutions, and pharmaceutical and biotech companies; the directives of infectious disease experts and the World Health Organization (WHO). However, our primary concern was the health and safety of the attendees, the venue staff and the local community.

We recognize that the presentation of new data, exchange of information, and opportunities for collaboration offered by the chance to meet colleagues in this field are highly valued and we are investigating options for rescheduling this fall or for virtual presentations.

A great deal of work went into planning this meeting, and we wish to thank the members of the scientific committee, the organizing committee, the Jackson Laboratory Courses and Conferences office, the International Society for Biocuration, and the Harborside Hotel and Bar Harbor Club for their time and effort.

We will contact all registered attendees about the refund of registration and conference dinner fees, and we will also contact all sponsors about return of fees associated with contracts. All attendees should cancel their own hotel and travel reservations; please check the cancellation policy for your hotel, airline, etc. We have notified the hotels listed on the meeting website to expect cancellations.

Anyone with urgent and immediate concerns should email Any additional updates concerning this meeting will be posted onto the meeting website and on social media.

The Biocuration 2020 conference organizers wish to sincerely thank everyone for their patience throughout this decision-making process.

Curation at Scale Workshop, April 27-28, 2020

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is pleased to announce a two-day Curation at Scale Workshop to be held on April 27-28, 2020 on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. The NLM workshop featuring invited speakers will bring together biocurators, developers of automated curation methods, and other community stakeholders, and will offer a platform to learn, share and discuss opportunities and challenges in implementation of advanced computational techniques for scientific data curation. We invite participants from academia, government, publishers, and industry interested in the methods and tools employed in curation of biomedical data to attend this exciting workshop.

NLM Workshop on Curation at Scale

April 27-28, 2020

Wilson Hall, Building 1

NIH Main Campus

To find out more and register, please visit:

Participants are encouraged to submit an abstract for consideration for poster presentation.

Poster abstract submission deadline: March 6, 2020

Registration deadline: April 17, 2020

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