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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 4 (2003), Issue 6, Pages 663-666
Meeting review

ISMB 2003 Bio-ontologies SIG and Sixth Annual Bio-ontologies Meeting Report

Department of Computer Science, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK

Received 22 September 2003; Revised 29 September 2003; Accepted 29 September 2003

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Annual Bio-Ontologies meeting (˜stevens/meeting03/) has now been running for 6 consecutive years, as a special interest group (SIG) of the much larger ISMB conference. It met in Brisbane, Australia, this summer, the first time it was held outside North America or Europe. The bio-ontologies meeting is 1 day long and normally has around 100 attendees. This year there were many fewer, no doubt a result of the distance, global politics and SARS. The meeting consisted of a series of 30 min talks with no formal peer review or publication. Talks ranged in style from fairly formal and complete pieces of work, through works in progress, to the very informal and discursive. Each year's meeting has a theme and this year it was ‘ontologies, and text processing’. There is a tendency for those submitting talks to ignore the theme completely, but this year's theme obviously struck a chord, as half the programme was about ontologies and text analysis (˜stevensr/meeting03/programme.html). Despite the smaller size of the meeting, the programme was particularly strong this year, meaning that the tension between allowing time for the many excellent talks, discussion and questions from the floor was particular keenly felt. A happy problem to have!