Outreach and Advocacy progress report for Sept 2009 meeting

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  • Co-ordinated by Jane Lomax and Jennifer Deegan (EBI, Hinxton). Contributions from many members of GO consortium.

GO helpdesk

  • Central email address from all GO queries. Person on duty responsible for answering the email, or forwarding the email to appropriate person and ensuring it’s answered.

GO helpdesk staff

Rachael Huntley, Emily Dimmer, David Hill, Jane Lomax, Kimberly Van Auken, Midori Harris, Amelia Ireland, Tanya Berardini, Eurie Hong, Jennifer Deegan.

Statistics for past year





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Annotation training and user training in the community:

By its nature, annotation outreach and user training involves staff members giving a number of talks and training sessions in the community. Highlights in this period are shown below.

Peach Genome

Bryon Sosinski (sosinski at ncsu.edu) wrote to say that he is coordinating the sequencing of the peach genome, and is writing a USDA-SCRI proposal to employ GO for the initial annotation of the sequence.

Fission Yeast Community curation

Valerie Wood ran a community curation pilot project for fission yeast, by sending forms to researchers to complete for a recent publication. The initial trial of 20 publications had a 95% response rate demonstrating that the fission yeast community is willing to participate actively in the curation process. See the pilot summary at http://www.sanger.ac.uk/Projects/S_pombe/community_curation.shtml. Eight SF items were also raised for new biology, or ontology issues.

The pilot will be extended to 50 laboratories within one month. The hope is to get funding to develop a simple community curation interface as part of the fission yeast grant proposal. We believe that this initiative presents a significant cost-effective opportunity to enhance the efforts of core curation staff at low cost.


  • Michelle Gwinn-Giglio gave a GO workshop for 20 people at the University of Maryland.
  • Members of the EcoliWiki team presented posters about Gene Ontology and GONUTS at the annual symposium of the Program in the Biology of Filamentous Fungi at Texas A&M and at the Texas Protein Folders Conference.
  • Jim Hu and Debby Siegele attended the American Society for Microbiology Conference on Undergraduate Education (ASMCUE), where they discussed the importance of GO for microbiology, and using GONUTS in education.
  • Alexander Diehl attended the first NIGMS Cell Behavior Ontology Workshop, May 4-6, 2009, as the invited representative of the GO Consortium, where he gave a talk "Introduction to the Gene Ontology" and provided advice on ontology development during the workshop sessions of the meeting.
  • Yasmin Alam-Faruque and Emily Dimmer were invited by the GUDMAP Team to Edinburgh in June 2009 to talk about GOA to the GUDMAP team. Emily talked with Graeme Grimes who was interested in discussing GO in relation to Wendy Bickmores Nuclear Protein Database, and Jeff Christiansen (EMAGE Gene Expression Database - http://genex.hgu.mrc.ac.uk/Emage/database/emageIntro.html) - about general things regarding bringing GO into EMAGE.
  • Linda Hannick presented an hour-long Introduction to GO to the participants in the JCVI Eukaryotic Genome Annotation and Analysis Course, presented March 3-5, April 1-3, and June 10-12, 2009. Another course will be presented September 23-25, 2009.
  • Jennifer Smith at RGD produced and released an introductory video tutorial entitled "Introduction to Biomedical Ontologies #1: What is an Ontology?". It is the first in a planned series about Biomedical Ontologies and is available on both SciVee (http://www.scivee.tv/node/11759) and Vimeo (http://www.vimeo.com/5344028). The intended target audience is researchers and students who are largely, or completely, unfamiliar with ontologies, and the example that is used to illustrate ontologies, ontology annotations and ontology browsers (including AmiGO) is GO.
  • July 28-31 IGS Genomics Workshop included a 2-hour lecture on the GO and then was followed by hands-on manual annotation exercises where part of what attendees had to do was attach GO terms to the exercise genes. The workshop was attended by 17 people and held on the IGS University of Maryland Campus. Two more workshops are planned for September and November.
  • Rachael Huntley trained the third set of SIB curators in GO annotation on 1st July 2009 in Geneva.