Tag Archives: ISB

Calling all Biocurators: the ISB would like your input!

Are you, or have you ever been a biocurator?

If so the International Society for Biocuration requests that you take their career survey, which will take about 10-15 minutes (depending on how much metadata that you include :) ) and asks about career saticfaction, which tasks you enjoy/don’t enjoy, etc. The goal is to get input from as many biocurators as possible, analyze the data & then use it to guide the ISB’s efforts. I consider myself involved in biocuration, since we do outreach & software testing on these resources continuously, and so I filled out the survey myself. It wasn’t at all bad & asks some useful questions.

Biocuration has been a phenomenal career choice for me & my family. It has allowed me to stay in science, and yet follow my spouse when he has had to move and occasionally volunteer at my child’s school during the days. I think expanding biocuration career opportunities is a great way of motivating more people to get into science. The big thing is to 1) provide a variety of opportunities, 2) raise appreciation for what biocurators do (data overload would be SO much worse without the biocuration lot), and 3) get all these biocuration careers funded through steady, reliable and substantial funding – in my opinion.

So if you are a biocurator, please fill out the survey. If you know biocurators, please pass the survey onto them.


Are you curious about what biocurators do?

It may not surprise you that we at OpenHelix are pretty heavy-duty users of curated information from databases. It might surprise you to know that some of us have been involved in actually curating them as well. In both public and commercial situations, we’ve been on the curation side. And lately we’ve been heavily on the end-user side.

So we’ve been huge supporters of curators for a long time. We know that they are the ones responsible for the most trustworthy data in the databases. We know the intelligence, the focus, the attention to detail, and the training it takes to do this well.

Biocurators rock. If you do biomedical research and use the data from the databases, you can thank a biocurator.

But maybe you don’t know that much about exactly what biocurators do if you are mostly an end user of the databases. I’d like you to meet some of them. The new International Society for Biocuration has been established to foster development and respect for biocuration as a career choice and career path.

They are also currently holding an election for their board.  Have a look at the slate of candidates, and read some of those statements.  Check out the varied backgrounds on these folks–you’ll be seriously impressed with their skills and dedication to good data.

And if you are a biocurator, and a member of the society, I would encourage you to have a special look at Jennifer Williams of OpenHelix.  Jennifer is an incredible member of our team, and we totally support her candidacy for the ISB board.  She would bring useful skills to the job from the project management perspective, I assure you.  She knows both sides of curation equally well: getting data in and getting data out.  She’s also very much a bridge-builder with a very gentle and effective way of bringing people together in the right place.

If you have a membership and intend to vote, please consider voting for Jennifer Williams for one of the 6 board members.  She is a real gem, and she’s certain to serve capably and effectively.

Heads Up: ISB to Hold First Election in September

ISB_election Just a heads-up that the fairly new International Society for Biocuration is accepting nominations during August for their executive board, with elections to be held in September. I’ve included a bit of their email below, but you can see the whole announcement here, and join the society as well, if you haven’t yet.

Dear Colleagues,

We are ready for the first election of the executive board. The complete executive board shall be composed of nine (9) members, each with a 2-year term. The interim executive board remains for another year to ensure proper transition and six (6) new members will be elected this year…

The 3rd International Biocuration Conference was Amazing!

I’m nowhere close to being able to describe all that I saw and learned at the conference – I have pages and pages of notes, all full of good stuff – but I did want to give you a brief update today. The conference occurred April 16th-20th in Berlin at the brand new Seminaris conference center just south of Berlin. I had never been to Berlin before & so I went a few days early to sight see. I really enjoyed Berlin & suggest that if you have the chance to visit there that you do. But this is a science blog, not a travel blog, so onto the science…

ism_biocuration_logo On the first day of the conference we celebrated the inauguration of the International Society for Biocuration, or ISB. If you are interested in learning about the society, or joining, you can check them out here.

Also, all poster and talks from the conference are requested to be published at Nature Proceedings, and several are already available. My submission just completed its way through Nature’s curation process and is available here. If you find presentations there that you support, or want to “applaud”, you can “vote” for them. I’d appreciate any support you’d care to give my talk (hint hint) :)

OK, I’ll probably blog more about the conference after I cull my notes & get further on my meeting report, but in the meantime enjoy the links I’ve provided, maybe join the ISB & HAPPY FRIDAY!