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ERCIM News 105, April 2016: Special theme "Logistics and planning"
ERCIM News 106, July 2016: Special theme "Cybersecurity"

ERCIM News No. 104 (January 2016)

DEADLINE FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: Wednesday 18 November 2015

Please read the guidelines below before submitting an article

The sections of ERCIM News 104 are :

  • Joint ERCIM Actions
  • Special Theme: Tackling Big Data in the Life Sciences
  • Research and Innovation
  • Events
  • In Brief

The Special Theme and the Research and Innovation sections contain articles presenting a panorama of European research activities. The Special Theme focuses on a sector which has been selected by the editors from a short list of currently "hot" topics whereas the Research and Innovation section contains articles describing scientific activities, research results, and technical transfer endeavours in any sector of Information and Communication Science and Technology (ICST), telecommunications or applied mathematics. Submissions to the Special Theme section are subjected to an external review process coordinated by invited guest editors whereas submissions to the Research and Innovation section are checked and approved by the ERCIM News editorial board.

Special Theme:
Tackling Big Data in the Life Sciences"

Guest editors:

  • Roeland Merks (CWI, The Netherlands)
  • Marie-France Sagot (Inria, France)

In the Life Sciences, traditionally a descriptive science, data collection plays a central role. The latest decennia have seen major technical advances that have made it possible to collect biological data at an unprecedented pace. Biologists routinely measure DNA sequences, gene expression, metabolic profiles, protein levels, they visualize the positions and shape of cells in developing organs and whole embryos over time, rapidly screen the phenotypic effects of gene mutations, or they monitor the positions of species and individual animals and plants in whole ecosystems or herds, to name just a few.

The resulting datasets yield new insight into biological problems, while at the same time they pose new challenges to mathematicians and informaticians. How do we store these large bodies of data in an efficient manner and make sure it remains accessible in the future? How do we search through the data, spot interesting patterns and extract the biologically relevant information? How do we compare data of different conditions or species? How do we integrate data from different sources and across biological levels of organization to make new predictions? Can we then use the resulting patterns to solve the inverse problem and derive meaningful dynamical mathematical models from kinetic datasets?  How do we model complex and/or large biological systems, e.g., whole cells, embryos, plants or ecosystems? What are the challenges to multiscale modeling?

This special issue of ERCIM News will highlight new algorithms, models, simulations, infrastructures, and so forth that have been developed for modelling in the life sciences ranging from from the molecular, through the cellular all the way up the organism and population level.

Topics include

  • computational biology
  • algorithmics in the life sciences bioinformatics
  • regulatory and metabolic network modeling
  • whole organism modeling
  • ontologies and programming languages for the life sciences
  • patterning matching and machine learning in the life sciences
  • multicellular modeling and pattern formation
  • data integration
  • multiscale modeling
  • big mechanisms.

Articles have to be sent to the local editor for your country (see About ERCIM News) or to the central editor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Articles submitted to the special theme are subject to a review process.

Guidelines for ERCIM News articles

Style: ERCIM News is read by a large variety of people. Keeping this in mind the article should be descriptive (emphasize more the 'what' than the 'how') without too much technical detail together with an illustration, if possible.

Contributions in ERCIM News are normally presented without formulas. One can get a long way with careful phrasing, although it is not always wise to avoid formulas altogether. In cases where authors feel that the use of formulas is necessary to clarify matters, this should be done in a separate box (to be treated as an illustration). However, formulas and symbols scattered through the text must be avoided as much as possible.

Length: Keep the article short, i.e. 700-800 words.

Format: Submissions preferably in ASCII text or MS Word. Pictures/Illustrations must be submitted as separate files (not embedded in a MS Word file) in a resolution/quality suitable for printing.

Structure of the article:
The emphasis in ERCIM News is on 'NEWS'. This should be reflected in both title and lead ('teaser').

  • Title
  • Author (full name, max. two or three authors)
  • Teaser:
    a few words about the project/topic. Printed in bold face, this part is intended to raise interest (keep it short).
  • Details describing:
    what the project/product is
    which institutions are involved
    where it takes place
    why the research is being done
    when it was started/completed the aim of the project
    the techniques employed
    the orientation of the project
    future activities
    other institutes involved in this project
    co-operation with other ERCIM members in this field
  • References:
    • 1 - max. 3 references are mandatory for special theme articles. For articles for the section "Research and Devlopment", you can give up to three references (not mandatory)
    • Authors should preferably refer important sources only (i.e. journal papers, books) and avoid meaningless references such as article in preparation, unpublished presentations, personal communications, research reports, patents, or local conference publications not listed in the major scientific digital libraries (such as IEEE, ACM, Springer).
    • The selected EN style is the shortened IEEE Citation Style.
    • The references should be as concise as possible and restricted to the minimal information needed. Avoid all unnecessary words (pages x pp., year, editors, location,...). Use acronyms instead of full conference names - OOPSLA x Object-Oriented Programing Systems, abbreviations (e.g. Conf. x Conference, IEEE TPAMI x IEEE Transaction on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, etc.).
    • Use et al. when three or more names are given.
  • Useful Link(s) (URLs separated from the refrences)
  • Contact address with:
    - full name of the author
    - phone number
    - e-mail address
  • Photos, illustrations:
    ERCIM News is a full color print magazine. Each article should be accompagnied by an illustration (photos, graphics), for example of the product, applications mentioned in the article, people working on the project, etc. (avoid as much as possible flow charts and screen dumps).
    Photos should be submitted in jpg or tiff format in a resolution suitable for printing (pictures taken from the web are usually in a quality suitable for printing), graphics in a vector format (svg, eps or ps).

Publishing in ERCIM News offers several advantages:

  • ERCIM News represents an excellent opportunity to present your research to a broad audience, also outside your own research community
  • the printed edition has a circulation of about 5000 copies
  • more than 7500 readers are subscribed to the online edition
  • the online edition has excellent visibility with a Google ranking of PR8
  • ERCIM News is widely distributed in the European Commission
  • ERCIM offers a free professional proof-reading service
  • Authors can reuse their articles; the copyright of the articles remains with the authors.
  • Articles of the sections "Special Theme" and "Research and Innovation" are referenced by DBLP