Grants:TPS/Ben Moore/22nd Annual International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology

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User name
Ben Moore
User location (country)
United Kingdom
Event name
22nd Annual International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB 2014)
Event Web site
Event date(s)
July 11–15th 2014
Event location (city)
Boston, MA
Amount requested (remember to specify currency!)
950 GBP[note 1]
Alex Bateman

Budget breakdown[edit]

  • Travel: Return flight from Edinburgh to Logan International, approx. 950 GBP / 1550 USD (British Airways Economy)
  • Other expenses: None. The conference organisers have waived my registration fee (~500 USD) and the tutorial registration fee. Accommodation will be paid for through my research group's Medical Research Council funding, as I will also be able to present my research later in the conference, and any living allowance I will cover myself.

Proposed Participation[edit]

I am a long-term editor of English Wikipedia, having made just under 10,000 edits over almost 8 years, and a second-year computational biology PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, UK. Hence I'm well-placed to help teach this tutorial titled "Wikipedia editing for computational biologists" at the ISMB 2014 conference. The conference is the largest of its kind in the field of computational biology and expects to attract around 1500 academics; the organisers have accepted just two tutorials for next year (ours being one of them).

Despite not having taught a Wikipedia course before, I am doing so with the very-experienced Daniel Mietchen and with input from Alex Bateman, both of whom have previously run similar courses (e.g. [2]) and written a number of related publications.[1][2] I became involved in the organisation of this tutorial after coming second in this year's ISCB computational biology Wikipedia competition,[3] and having previously contributed to a Wikipedia / bioinformatics database collaboration.[4] Over the past few years I've also been part of some small Wikipedia-based groups, including the Imperial College Wikipedia society and a WikiLunch editing group at the Sanger Centre in Cambridge, UK. More details on the content and planning of the tutorial can be found here.

Goal and Expected Impact[edit]

The primary goal of the tutorial is to increase participation amongst academics across a number of Wikimedia projects. Attendees will bring specialist knowledge from their fields which may have a low coverage on English Wikipedia, as well as other language Wikis. Additionally existing computational biology / Wikipedia links, such as PLoS Topic Pages,[2] can be strengthened, resulting in high-quality and well-researched new articles on potentially esoteric or complex topics. Similarly, familiarisation with Wikimedia projects can allow professors or course instructors in the audience to set Wikipedia-based assignments, as has been encouraged in the ISCB Wikipedia competition this year. We also hope to recruit members for's Computational Biology Wikiproject as well as introducing attendees to Wikidata and Wikimedia commons.


  1. Should this application be successful I would request advance disbursement of these funds


  1. Logan, Darren W.; Sandal, Massimo; Gardner, Paul P.; Manske, Magnus; Bateman, Alex (2010). "Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia". PLoS Computational Biology 6 (9): e1000941. ISSN 1553-7358. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000941. 
  2. a b Wodak, Shoshana J.; Mietchen, Daniel; Collings, Andrew M.; Russell, Robert B.; Bourne, Philip E. (2012). "Topic Pages: PLoS Computational Biology Meets Wikipedia". PLoS Computational Biology 8 (3): e1002446. ISSN 1553-7358. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002446. 
  3. Bateman, Alex; Kelso, Janet; Mietchen, Daniel; Macintyre, Geoff; Di Domenico, Tomás; Abeel, Thomas; Logan, Darren W.; Radivojac, Predrag; Rost, Burkhard (2013). "ISCB Computational Biology Wikipedia Competition". PLoS Computational Biology 9 (9): e1003242. ISSN 1553-7358. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003242. 
  4. Gardner, P. P.; Daub, J.; Tate, J.; Moore, B. L.; Osuch, I. H.; Griffiths-Jones, S.; Finn, R. D.; Nawrocki, E. P.; Kolbe, D. L.; Eddy, S. R.; Bateman, A. (2010). "Rfam: Wikipedia, clans and the "decimal" release". Nucleic Acids Research 39 (Database): D141–D145. ISSN 0305-1048. doi:10.1093/nar/gkq1129.