IAOA second 2021 Assembly Announcement

The Twelfth International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems [1], FOIS 2021, in the framework of the Bolzano Summer of Knowledge 2021 [2], is happening in Bolzano, Italy and online during this week.

–> The second 2021 IAOA Assembly will be held there and virtually
on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 17:15-18:15 CEST [3]You are cordially invited to join!
Details [4] for joining virtually can be found below.

To join physically, beware that the meeting takes place in the main building of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (Piazza Università, 39100 Bolzano BZ), just a block away from the Kolpinghaus where FOIS is held [5].This Assembly will be informal and mainly serves to inform you and let all of us discuss about the development of our Association and its activities.

Please find the agenda for the Assembly at the bottom of this message. If you would like to see further topics addressed during the Assembly, please send them to the Secretary [6].

We look forward to everyone’s participation on September 15, in person at FOIS or virtually.

Laure Vieu
President, IAOA

[6] secretary@iaoa.org

= IAOA Assembly of September 15, 2021 =

== Agenda ==
[as of Sep 14, 2021]

1. Introductory remarks
a. IAOA in general
2. General updates
a. New zero-fee membership scheme
b. Code of conduct
c. End of the relocation of IAOA to Switzerland
3. Activities, Technical Committees and SIGs
a. Semantic Web Applied Ontology (SWAO) SIG
b. Industry and Standards Technical Committee (ISTC)
c. Education Technical Committee (EduTC)
(incl. new Educational Series on Applied Ontology (ESAO))
a. review of FOIS 2020 & FOIS 2021
b. FOIS format & procedures
c. call for hosting FOIS 2023
5. Outlook
a. JOWO 2022 announcement
b. Next assemblies and elections
6. Any other business

Call for hosting FOIS 2023!

The International Association for Ontology and its Applications (IAOA) is now soliciting proposals for the location of the 13th edition of FOIS to be held in 2023 (see the page Hosting FOIS).

Proposals should include a description of the conference venue, the availability of local sponsorship, proposed dates, and a preliminary budget. Possible co-location with related conferences will also be considered as a factor in the final decision.
The IAOA has adopted the policy to take all risks and benefits for the FOIS conferences while encouraging sponsors to take part of the risks.

Please send proposals to by December 2021.

June SWAO Monthly Report

The Semantic Web Applied Ontology (SWAO) Special Interest Group is working to develop a set of guidelines and explanatory documents regarding ontologies. Members of the SIG have prepared overviews of the various purposes and landscapes in which ontologies are developed and used (for example, in semantic application use cases, or for data integration, AI enhancement and explainability, and business knowledge representation), learnings from lexicography, and how ontologies can provide formal definitions of a domain’s concepts, relationships and facts. Within the SIG, there has been much discussion of different approaches to ontology articulation (e.g., how and why an ontology is defined) and its communication. These discussions have addressed ontology purpose and intended audience, various methods of communication (e.g., RDFS, OWL, OWL with rules, Common Logic, etc. or perhaps simple spreadsheets), ability to reuse and maintain ontologies, and much more. The goal of the work is to create a paper articulating the diversity of approaches used in ontology development and its expression. This paper should be available later this year.

IAOA first 2021 Virtual Assembly Announcement

Dear IAOA members,

Our Statutes [1] require the Association’s Financial Statement to be formally approved every year by a (virtual) assembly.

This is a formal invitation to participate in the first 2021 virtual assembly [2], whose main purpose is to discuss and approve the 2020 Financial Statement [3].
The report from the Auditors on the Financial Statement [4] and the proposed budget for 2021 [5] are also available.

The discussion on the Financial Statement (and possibly other issues concerning the Association) can take place from now and until April 12, 2021 through sending a message to  [6] on the IAOA member mailing list [7].
Finalized details integrating the discussion outcome will be published by April 15, 2021.

The voting period will be April 20-April 30, 2021 — save these dates!

Everyone with an active IAOA membership is eligible to vote. Detailed voting instructions will be available from the Assembly page [2] and shall be distributed anew at ballot opening.
The Assembly may approve the Financial Statement by simple majority; there is no quorum.
The outcome of the voting will be announced to the members’ mailing list by May 05, 2021.

Laure Vieu
President, IAOA

[1] https://iaoa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/iaoa-ch-statute-2016-06-23-en_v12.pdf
[2] https://wiki.iaoa.org/index.php/IAOA_Assembly_2021_04
[3] https://iaoa.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/annual-report-iaoa-ch-20210326.pdf
[4] https://iaoa.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/IAOA_audit_approval-2021-03-21-signed.pdf
[5] https://iaoa.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/IAOA-CH-2021-Budget_V3_1.pdf
[6] iaoa-member@ovgu.de
[7] https://listserv.ovgu.de/mailman/listinfo/iaoa-member/

January SWAO Monthly Report

The Semantic Web Applied Ontology (SWAO) Special Interest Group is actively involved in the Ontology Summit 2021: Ontology Generation and Harmonization. Harmonization is especially relevant to SWAO because the purpose of SWAO is to help bridge between communities. Ontologies are now routinely being extracted and generated from a large variety of sources, but without articulating the intended purpose or type of the ontologies. Track A of the summit will survey the landscape of ontology types and purposes. Track B will survey the notion of a definition for bridging between different ontologies and between ontologies and people via natural language. Track C is concerned with bridging between the machine learning and ontology communities. Track D considers the organizational aspects of ontologies, especially sustainability of ontologies and their ecosystems.

Conclusion of the IAOA Second 2020 Virtual Assembly and Executive Council Elections

Dear IAOA Members and Followers,

The nomination phase for the 2020 Executive Council election has closed on November 10, 2020. In addition to Ken Baclawski, Oliver Kutz, Frank Loebe, Fabian Neuhaus, Laure Vieu, and Amanda Vizedom who are candidates for re-election, we have three new candidates: Torsten Hahmann, Megan Katsumi and Emilio Sanfilippo.

We thus have nine candidates for nine positions. The current Executive Council, during its meeting on November 16, has acknowledged all candidates and confirmed that in this situation the election follows the procedure according to Article VII, Section 4, of our earlier Bylaws (IAOA with its new Swiss statutes is still in the process of elaborating new bylaws):
“If the number of candidates is not larger than the number of
vacancies, no ballot is required and the nominated candidates
are deemed to have been elected.”

In conclusion of the election, the new Executive Council for the period of 2021-2022 consists of:

  • Ken Baclawski, Northeastern University, USA
  • Torsten Hahmann, University of Maine, USA
  • Megan Katsumi, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Oliver Kutz, Free University of Bolzano, Italy
  • Frank Loebe, University of Leipzig, Germany
  • Fabian Neuhaus, Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg, Germany
  • Emilio Sanfilippo, LOA, ISTC-CNR, Trento, Italy
  • Laure Vieu, IRIT-CNRS, University of Toulouse, France
  • Amanda Vizedom, Credit Suisse, USA

The new officers will take up their roles on January 1st, 2021, when the current period of office comes to an end. At its first meeting, the new EC will also newly elect the holders of the offices of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.

Finally, we would like to thank the three outgoing Executive Council members, Roberta Ferrario, Michael Gruninger and Maria Keet, for their outstanding service to the community.

Laure Vieu
President, IAOA

November SWAO Monthly Report

The Semantic Web Applied Ontology (SWAO) Special Interest Group is embarking on a project to develop ontology articulation guidelines. There are different kinds of ontology for different purpose, such as concrete solutions to specific engineering problems and models for conceptualization. We will articulate the distinctions among various purposes, with different guidelines for different purposes. The intent of this project is to create a guide that will be easy enough to use, but still provide a greater measure of ontological analysis. The guidelines will be expressed as a collection of wiki pages on wiki.iaoa.org and will build on the terminology on this wiki.

IAOA Second 2020 Virtual Assembly and Executive Council Elections

Dear IAOA members,

The second 2020 IAOA Virtual Assembly will soon be open, and we will be selecting members for the Executive Council. These elections follow the regulations in the IAOA Statute as of Jun 23, 2016 [1,2].

All members of the Executive Council come to the end of their terms at the end of 2020. The current Executive Council has decided to keep the present number of people, so nine (9) persons need to be elected.

If you have not renewed your membership in the last 12 months, then your membership has most probably elapsed; please apply for renewal [3] before making a nomination or otherwise participating in the election. (Memberships are valid individually for one year, starting from the date of approval of the membership/renewal request. In few cases, more than 1 year membership may apply.)

For the next few weeks, we foresee three main phases:
Candidature, Campaigning, and Elections, as follows.


A – Candidature phase (from October 28 to November 9)

At least two members (a proposer and at least one seconder, none of whom should be the nominee) are required in order to make a nomination. The members making the nomination shall ensure that they, as well as the nominee, are current members of the association, and that the nominee shall accept the nomination.

PLEASE START NOW IN MAKING YOUR NOMINATIONS, by means of a message posted to [4] iaoa-member@ovgu.de and specifying the proposer, the seconder(s), the nominee, and optionally some motivations and/or a candidate’s position statement (which can be circulated afterwards). We have also set up a wiki page to discuss these elections at

[5] https://wiki.iaoa.org/index.php/IAOA_Assembly_2020_11 .

Please feel free to send any editing comments to [6] iaoa-election@ovgu.de .

Nominations can be freely discussed on the members’ mailing list [4,7] from the nomination time to the end of the campaigning phase.


B – Campaigning phase (from November 10 to November 16)

Campaigning can start with the first candidate nomination, i.e., during the candidature phase. Once that phase is closed, there is still a week available for active campaigning and discussion on the members’ mailing list [4,7].


C – 2020 IAOA virtual assembly eBallot (from November 17 to November 22)

In this period you will be asked to vote for nine Executive Council candidates. Please be so kind as to participate in the vote even if you decide to abstain, so we can count you among the participants. The more participants, the stronger the result of the election will be!

The list of candidates and their position statements will be made available through the IAOA Election wiki page [5].

Results will be announced to the mailing list [4] and the wiki page [5].

We will be grateful for any efforts and contributions to the 2020 EC election.
Active involvement in IAOA through Executive Council membership is a highly valuable service to the whole community. Please do consider nominating candidates!

Laure Vieu
President, IAOA

1] https://iaoa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/iaoa-ch-statute-2016-06-23-en_v12.pdf

[2] https://iaoa.org/index.php/about/statute-and-bylaws/

[3] https://iaoa.org/index.php/join/

[4] iaoa-member@ovgu.de

[5] https://wiki.iaoa.org/index.php/IAOA_Assembly_2020_11

[6] iaoa-election@ovgu.de

[7] https://listserv.ovgu.de/mailman/listinfo/iaoa-member



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