Registration for events in the scope of BOSK 2021, including FOIS 2021, ICBO2021, JOWO 2021, and  ESAO 2021, is now open!

Please visit:

Note that:

  • Registration is mandatory to take part in the events;
  • Online participation is free (except for the paper registration fee at FOIS 2021);
  • Early registration ends on August 27th.

CFP – The Joint Ontology Workshops – JOWO 2021

In conjunction with FOIS 2021 online and hybrid (in Bolzano, Italy)

JOWO 2021 invites submissions to six featured workshops:

CAOS V: Cognition And OntologieS
FOMI 2021: Workshop on Formal Ontology meets Industry
FOUST V: Workshop on Foundational Ontology
OntoCom 2021: Workshop on Ontologies and Conceptual Modelling
ROBONTICS 2021: Ontologies for Autonomous Robotics
SoLEE 2021: Ontology of Social, Legal and Economic Entities

The tentative deadline for submissions is: July 3, 2021

Please refer to the individual workshops for detailed submission instructions and any deadlines changes.

All workshops will take place between September 11 and 18, 2021, either as hybrid or fully virtual events.The scientific programs are independently established by the workshop organizers. Together, the JOWO workshops address a wide spectrum of topics related to ontology research, ranging from Cognitive Science to Knowledge Representation, Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence, Logic, Philosophy, and Linguistics. The workshop organizers also make decisions on the specifics of the workshop format (hybrid or fully virtual).


Definition and scope

The FOIS conference is a meeting point for all researchers with an interest in formal ontology. Formal ontology is the systematic study of the types of entities and relations making up the domains of interest represented in modern information systems. The conference encourages new high quality submissions on both theoretical issues and practical advancements: FOIS 2021 will have distinct tracks for foundational issues, ontology applications and domain ontologies.

FOIS aims to be a nexus of interdisciplinary research and communication, inclusive of researchers from many domains engaging with formal ontology. Common application areas include conceptual modeling, database design, knowledge engineering and management, software engineering, organizational modeling, artificial intelligence, robotics, computational
linguistics, the life sciences, bioinformatics and scientific research in general, geographic information science, information retrieval, library and information science, as well as the Semantic Web.

FOIS is the flagship conference of the International Association for Ontology and its Applications (IAOA:, which is a non-profit organization promoting interdisciplinary research and international collaboration in formal ontology.

Important dates

  • Paper submission deadline: 22 April 2021
  • Notifications: 25 June 2021
  • Camera-ready papers: 19 July 2021
  • Conference dates: 13-16 September 2021


FOIS 2021 is planned as a hybrid event: there will be a physical meeting in Bozen-Bolzano, Italy, with a remote participation option.


FOIS seeks full-length high-quality papers on a wide range of topics. Each submission needs to submitted as part of one of the tracks, i.e., Foundational, Application, and Domain Ontology.

(1) Foundational papers address content-related ontological issues, their formal representation, and their relevance to some aspect of information systems.
(2) Application papers address novel methods and systems related to building, evaluating, or using ontologies, emphasizing the impact of ontology contents on the application.
(3) Domain ontology papers describe a novel ontology for a specific realm of interest, clarifying ontological choices against requirements and foundational theory, and showing ontology use.

While different review criteria are applied to these tracks, the same formatting requirements apply to all papers:

  • Submitted papers must not exceed 14 pages (including bibliography).
  • They must include an abstract of no more than 300 words.
  • Papers should be submitted non-anonymously in PDF format following IOS Press formatting guidelines, which may be found at the following link:
  • Papers must be submitted via Easychair. Submission link will be up later.

Authors are limited to a maximum of two first-authored submissions, with no limit to the number of co-authored submissions, and a maximum of two presentations of accepted papers by any individual.

Reviews will be anonymous. The submission process will include a rebuttal phase. More detailed information will be published on the FOIS 2021 Web page in due time.

Topics of interest

Areas of particular interest to FOIS include the following:

Foundational Issues:

  • Kinds of entities: particulars/universals, continuants/occurrents, abstracta/concreta, dependent entities/independent entities, natural objects/artifacts
  • Formal relations: parthood, identity, connection, dependence, constitution, causality, subsumption, instantiation
  • Vagueness and granularity
  • Space, time, and change

Methodological issues

  • Top-level vs. domain-specific ontologies
  • Role of reference ontologies
  • Ontology similarity, integration and alignment
  • Ontology modularity, contextuality, and evolution
  • Formal comparison among ontologies
  • Relationship with cognition, language, semantics, context
  • Ontologies and Knowledge Graphs

Domain-specific ontologies

  • Ontology of physical reality (matter, space, time, motion etc.)
  • Ontology of biological reality (organisms, genes, proteins, cells etc.)
  • Ontology of mental reality and agency (beliefs, intentions, emotions, perceptions, cognition, etc.)
  • Ontology of artifacts, functions, capacities and roles
  • Ontology of social reality (institutions, organizations, norms, social relationships, artistic expressions etc.)


  • Ontology-driven information systems design
  • Ontological foundations for conceptual modeling
  • Knowledge management
  • Qualitative modeling
  • Computational linguistics
  • Information retrieval
  • Semantic Web
  • Business modeling
  • Ontologies and Machine Learning
  • Ontologies and Explainable AI
  • Ontologies for particular scientific disciplines (biology, chemistry, geography, physics, geoscience, cognitive sciences, linguistics etc.)
  • Ontologies for engineering: shape, form and function, artifacts, manufacturing, design, architecture etc.
  • Ontologies for the humanities: arts, cultural studies, history, literature, philosophy, etc.
  • Ontologies for the social sciences: economics, law, political science, anthropology, archeology, etc.

The Ontology Summit 2021: Ontology Generation and Harmonization

The Ontology Summit is an annual series of events that involves the ontology community and communities related to each year’s theme chosen for the summit. The Ontology Summit was started by Ontolog and NIST, and the program has been co-organized by Ontolog and NIST along with the co-sponsorship of other organizations that are supportive of the Summit goals and objectives.

Ontologies are a rich and versatile construct. They can be extracted, learned, modularized, interrelated, transformed, analyzed, and harmonized as well as developed in a formal process. The 2021 Ontology Summit on Ontology Generation and Harmonization will explore the many kinds of ontologies and how they can be manipulated. The goal is to acquaint both current and potential users of ontologies with the possibilities for how ontologies could be used for solving problems.

The 2021 Ontology Summit started on February 3rd and will end on June 9th 2021.

For more information see Ontology Summit 2021 Website

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.

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 and will build on the terminology on this wiki.

Call for Participation (free): Bolzano Summer of Knowledge, September 2020 — Virtual Event







The Research Centre for Knowledge and Data of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano is happy to announce the Bolzano Summer of Knowledge which takes place online in September of 2020.

Participation is free. Register here.

The following events are part of the Summer of Knowledge in September 2020 (in alphabetical order):

CARLA 2020: Concepts in Action: Representation, Learning, and Application
EEWC 2020: 10th Enterprise Engineering Working Conference
EKAW 2020: The 22nd International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management
EROSS 2020: ER Online Summer Seminar Series
ICBO 2020: The 11th International Conference on Biomedical Ontologies
ICCS 2020: 25th International Conference on Conceptual Structures
JOWO 2020: The 6th Joint Ontology Workshops
OVERLAY 2020: 2nd workshop on Artificial Intelligence and fOrmal VERification, Logic, Automata, and sYnthesis
SUM 2020: The 14th International Conference on Scalable Uncertainty Management
TIME 2020: 27th International Symposium on Temporal Representation and Reasoning

For event details, see

To register, go to




*** UPDATE: Registration for the virtual ICBO 2020 is now open: ***

*** Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, some parts of ICBO 2020 will take place virtually, but the major part of the conference will be *postponed* to September 2021. Proceedings will still be published in 2020 as usual.***

The International Conference on Biomedical Ontologies (ICBO) is a premier annual conference series that brings together researchers, students and professionals involved in the development and application of ontologies in all areas of biology, medicine, diseases, human health, genome biology, environment, biomes, nutrition, food, plants, agriculture and others.

This year, ICBO will be run jointly with Ontologies and Data for the Life Sciences (ODLS), an annual workshop series that focuses on data management and data processing in the life sciences and in health care, covering the overall spectrum of biomedical information management, from experimental data acquisition and preprocessing across analysis, structuring and interpretation of data, up to developing structured representations of knowledge, in particular in the form of ontologies, with their various applications.

The virtual event of ICBO 2020 will be held as a part of the Bolzano Summer of Knowledge 2020, together with EKAW 2020.


The theme for ICBO|ODLS 2020 is Ontology across Boundaries. This includes the topics of:

  • Ontologies at the practical interfaces between different yet interrelated disciplines and communities of practice (e.g. biology–chemistry, immunology–epidemiology etc.)
  • Ontologies overcoming boundaries between basic research and translation
  • Ontologies and the socioeconomic boundaries that can lead to differences in health outcomes across different population groups
  • Ontology as a tool for open science to reduce segregation of research results and improve access to the full body of knowledge across scientific disciplines, especially as applied to urgent topics such as the climate crisis
  • Ontologies in practice across national boundaries, e.g. medical ontologies needing to serve international contexts
  • Ontology in translation: ontologies supporting knowledge, data and applications in multiple languages
  • Overcoming the practical boundaries of ontologies in integrated applications including data annotation, data integration, data science, machine learning and other artificial intelligence technologies


ICBO|ODLS 2020 is co-chaired by Frank Loebe and Janna Hastings. The full organising committee is detailed here.

The Bolzano Summer of Knowledge 2020 is being arranged locally by Oliver Kutz and the Research Centre on Knowledge and Data (KRDB), Faculty of Computer Science, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano.

Keynote Speakers

We are delighted to announce that our keynote speakers for ICBO 2020 will be:

Professor Susan Michie, head of the Centre for Behaviour Change, University College London.

Dr Chris Mungall, Department Head, Molecular Ecosystems Biology, Berkeley Lab.


EKAW 2020 will happen 16-20 September 2020 as a virtual event.

Further update for deadline and organisation of EKAW:

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, the revised submission deadline for abstracts is May 25, full papers are due June 1.

Please note further:

  • The organisation team of EKAW 2020 is committed to publishing the EKAW proceedings with Springer in 2020.
  • EKAW will happen as a virtual conference, physical attendance of authors of accepted papers at EKAW will therefore not be required.
  • Keynote Speakers are confirmed as virtual events.
  • The call for (virtual) Posters & Demos is forthcoming.
  • Participation/Publishing at EKAW will be at a heavily discounted fee (announced soon).


More on the 30+ year history of the EKAW Conference Series can be found here.

The 22nd International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management is concerned with all aspects about eliciting, acquiring, modeling and managing knowledge, and the construction of knowledge-intensive systems and services for the semantic web, knowledge management, e-business, natural language processing, intelligent information integration, and so on.

EKAW 2020 welcomes papers dealing with theoretical, methodological, experimental, and application-oriented aspects of knowledge engineering and knowledge management. In particular, but not exclusively, we are expecting papers about methods, tools and methodologies relevant to the following topics: knowledge and AI, knowledge discovery, knowledge management, knowledge engineering and acquisition, social and cognitive aspects of knowledge representation, and applications in specific domains.

EKAW 2020 will be part of Bolzano Summer of Knowledge 2020, together with ICBO 2020 and FOIS 2020, and more.


Research Centre on Knowledge and Data (KRDB)
Faculty of Computer Science, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

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