BioSB/ELIXIR-NL course on Managing and Integrating Life Science Information: Approaches using Linked Data and Semantics



With endorsements for FAIR* data stewardship ranging from Nature Genetics to the G7, and increasing pressure from funders for much stricter data management, FAIR data stewardship skills will be among the most wanted for the next decade.

By following this course, you add these skills to your CV and learn cutting-edge semantic techniques to search and integrate health and life science data for efficient, reproducible data science.

* FAIR: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable for humans and computers.


BioSB/ELIXIR-NL course on Managing and Integrating Life Science Information:Approaches using Linked Data and Semantics (5th edition)

Course coordinators: Marco Roos (LUMC), Katy Wolstencroft (LIACS, Leiden University)


Date:                     22-26 January 2018

Location:              Amsterdam Science Park, The Netherlands

Website                link

Registration        link

Target audience

This course is for bioinformaticians who would like to learn about leading-edge data and knowledge integration solutions. You will learn (1) powerful and flexible approaches to data and information management for your bioinformatics application (Semantic Web and Linked Data), (2) how to work with data across remote locations, for instance by applying Web Services and workflows, (3) how to publish your own data to make it available and reusable for the rest of the community. We assume a basic understanding of bioinformatics programming for the hands on sessions. It would suit previous user participants of BYOD meetings who would like more hands-on experience of data integration. It would also suit data providers who would like to explore new ways of serving their data or integrating it with other resources.


The amount of Life Science data available in the public domain is a vast and growing resource for bioinformatics research. There are over 20 million papers in PubMed and over 1600 biological databases. In many cases finding and applying the information from these resources is far from trivial. Following this course will show you techniques for working with these distributed resources, which includes using the web of Linked data and scientific workflows. It will also focus on methods for using or linking your own data into this large distributed Semantic Web of resources, in order to ensure that your data is FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable).

This course introduces modern techniques for the management of life science data and knowledge for bioinformatics applications. After following this course students should be able to start creating their first applications based on these technologies or make more informed design decisions for their current application.

In this course you will learn about:

  • Linked Data and the Semantic Web technologies that underpin it
  • How you can use Linked Data for data and knowledge integration in the Life Sciences
  • Available Linked Data resources in the public domain and large-scale projects that use these resources
  • How you can integrate your own data with Linked Data resources
  • How you can combine data integration and analysis over distributed resources, using Web Services and workflows

Confirmed lecturers: Frank van Harmelen (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Andre Dekker (Maastricht University)

Tentative programme:

The program will include the following topics:

  • Introduction to Semantic Interoperability and the Semantic Web;
  • The Semantic Web in Use;
  • The Semantic web in use – systems and guidelines;
  • Data stewardship and making Data Understandable and Searchable (the FAIR principles);
  • Using, Integrating and Analysing Data

This course is part of the Education Programme of BioSB, the Netherlands Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Research School, which offers training and education for in bioinformatics and systems biology.

More information about BioSB can be found at