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« Google Summer of Code 2013 | Main | I know what you did last (BioInfo)Summer »
Monday
Dec172012

Where's bioinformatics?

I recently attended BioInfoSummer 2012 and the 3rd Brighton Bioinformatics Retreat, both excellent events that truly embody the intent of the Australian Bioinformatics Network.

At both events, comments and questions were raised about “bioinformatics” in The Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), a set of three related classifications developed for use in the measurement and analysis of R&D Australia and New Zealand.

One comment I heard was “How come “bioinformatics” is under “biochemistry” in these classifications?” I thought I’d better find out…

Thanks to efforts of leaders in the Australian and New Zealand bioinformatics communities (see Australian Bioinformatics Network Project - Final Report) “bioinformatics” entered the “Field of Research” (FOR) classification in 2007.

To save you the trouble of downloading the 2008 FOR specification and hunting through it, here is a list of all the pages that mention “bioinformatics”

  • DIVISION 01 MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (p.16)
    Exclusions: d) Bioinformatics is included in Group 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology.
  • DIVISION 01 MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES continued (p. 17)
    GROUP 0102 APPLIED MATHEMATICS:
    Exclusions: b) Bioinformatics is included in Group 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology.
  • DIVISION 01 MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES continued (p. 18)
    GROUP 0104 STATISTICS:
    Exclusions: c) Bioinformatics is included in Group 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology.
  • DIVISION 01 MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES continued (p. 19)
    GROUP 0199 OTHER MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES
    Exclusions: d) Bioinformatics is included in Group 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology.
  • DIVISION 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (p.36)
    This division has nine groups:
    0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology
    0602 Ecology
    0603 Evolutionary Biology
    0604 Genetics
    0605 Microbiology
    0606 Physiology
    0607 Plant Biology
    0608 Zoology
    0699 Other Biological Sciences
    Exclusions:
    i) Bioinformatics software is included in Group 0803 Computer Software.
  • DIVISION 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES continued (p.37)
    GROUP 0601 BIOCHEMISTRY AND CELL BIOLOGY
    This group covers biochemistry or the chemistry of living organisms. It includes bioinformatics, cell biology and membrane biology. This group has fifteen fields:
    060101 Analytical Biochemistry
    060102 Bioinformatics
    Exclusions: e) Bioinformatics software is included in Group 0803 Computer Software.
  • DIVISION 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES continued (p.42)
    GROUP 0699 OTHER BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
    Exclusions: i) Bioinformatics software is included in Group 0803 Computer Software.
  • DIVISION 08 INFORMATION SCIENCES (p.49)
    Exclusions:
    c) The development of computer software, other than mathematics and bioinformatics software, which has applications to fields other than Division 08 Information and Computing Sciences is included in the appropriate divisions, e.g. computer modelling for atmospheric research is included in Division 04 Earth Sciences; software development for forest management is included in Division 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences.
    d) Bioinformatics is included in Group 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology.
  • DIVISION 08 INFORMATION SCIENCES continued (p.51)
    GROUP 0803 COMPUTER SOFTWARE
    This group covers technologies related to computer software, software programming, computer languages and software operating systems.
    This group has ten fields:
    080301 Bioinformatics Software
    080302 Computer System Architecture
    Exclusions:
    a) Bioinformatics software is included in Group 0803 Computer Software.
    c) The development of computer software, other than mathematics and bioinformatics software, which has applications to fields other than Division 08 Information and Computing Sciences is included in the appropriate divisions…
  • DIVISION 08 INFORMATION SCIENCES continued (p.54)
    GROUP 0807 LIBRARY SOFTWARE
    Exclusions: b) Bioinformatics software is included in Group 0803 Computer Software.
  • DIVISION 08 INFORMATION SCIENCES continued (p.55)
    GROUP 0899 OTHER INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES
    Exclusions: d) Bioinformatics software is included in Group 0803 Computer Software.
  • Bioinformatics” or Bioinformatics software” appears a further 8 times in various indices.

Out of curiosity, I used Acrobat’s Advanced Search to find out how many times bioinformatics was mentioned in comparison to some other “omics” in the 2008 FOR specification:

Frequency 

Term

246

Economics

25

Bioinformatics

18

Metabolomics

17

Proteomics

5

Genomics

0

Transcriptomics

0

Metagenomics

0

Ecogenomics

0

Phenomics

The life sciences are amazing, but it truly seems that money makes the world go round ... <sigh>

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