I wish to point out that computational biology is presently synonymous with bioinformatics, however, the scientific community considers them different. Though computational biology does include bioinformatics, it doesn't mean just bioinformatics i.e bioinformatics is just a subset of computational biology which also includes reaction modeling and simulations, molecular dynamics and statistical algorithms applicable to biology. Therefore I suggest that the synonym be dissolved. I am not sure where to vote for it; so I am posting it here.

Also I want to bring to the notice of everyone that some suggested tag-synonyms are still pending. These should be resolved soon.


The definition of informatics is according to different sources:

Informatics is the science of information. As an academic field it involves the practice of information processing, and the engineering of information systems. - Wikipedia

The science of processing data for storage and retrieval; information science. - OED

This site presents different definitions (and their sources) nicely.

The terms bioinformatics and computational biology are used differently in the field of biology. In fact I have even heard people saying that they are from either of the two (especially those who work on models don't like to be called bioinformaticians).

From the related old post:

I would argue that bioinformatics and computational-biology are actually different topics but in the context in which they are used here, it is more likely to be bioinformatics. - bobthejoe

Now that the site has grown I guess we need to resolve the two subjects. For example this post by GriffinEvo can be rightfully called computational biology but not bioinformatics.

Many other topics such as quantitative neuroscience, evolutionary dynamics, biomechanics, bioengineering, molecular dynamics etc make use of computational algorithms to simulate different biological phenomena. Classifying them under informatics (which is suggestive of information storage, processing and retrieval) would, in my opinion be incorrect.

Just going terminology-wise, the journal PLoS computational biology publishes articles which fall under many of the abovementioned categories including bioinformatics but other journals of classical bioinformatics are at present mostly confined to genomics and proteomics.

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  • $\begingroup$ Where do I find this suggested tag-synonyms? This is among the things I haven't really understood. $\endgroup$ – Chris Oct 9 '14 at 10:13
  • $\begingroup$ Here is the old discussion on the subject. I'm open to removing the synonym, but we need some clear guidelines first on how the two differ. $\endgroup$ – Mad Scientist Oct 9 '14 at 10:23
  • $\begingroup$ No, that's not what I meant. Where do I find the synonyms which are open for review? This site is quite logic, but this point is a bit different here. $\endgroup$ – Chris Oct 9 '14 at 10:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris Can you see this page? I'm not sure if it is mod-only or not $\endgroup$ – Mad Scientist Oct 9 '14 at 10:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris.. you can see the synonyms but can vote for it only if you have some reputation in a given tag. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Oct 9 '14 at 10:35
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG Ah, now I understand. Sounds logical to ask only people which have some knowledge in the field. $\endgroup$ – Chris Oct 9 '14 at 10:38

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