In need of some bogus bioinformatics acronyms? Try these on for size…

Three new JABBA awards for you to enjoy (not that anyone should be enjoying these crimes against acronyms). Hold on to your hats, because this might get ugly.


1: From the journal Scientific Reports

The paper helpfully points out that the name of this tool is pronounced 'Cadbury'. I'm not sure if they are saying this to invite a trademark complaint but generally I feel that it is never a good sign when someone has to tell you how to pronounce something. The acronym CADBURE is derived as follows:

Comparing Alignment results of user Data Based on the relative reliability of Uniquely aligned REads

On the plus side, CADBURE mostly uses the initial letters of words. On the negative side, only six out of the fifteen words contribute to the acronym and this is why it earns a JABBA award.


2: From the journal BMC Bioinformatics

SPINGO is generated as follows:

Species-level IdentificatioN of metaGenOmic amplicons

So only two words contribute the initial letters, 'identification' donates its second N (but not its first), and 'amplicons' gives us nothing at all. Very JABBA-award worthy.


3: From the journal Bioinformatics (h/t to James Wasmuth)

It is very common for people to wait until the end of the Introduction before they reveal how the acronym/initialism in question came to be, but in this paper they don't waste any time at all…it's right there in the title.

It is the mark of a tenuously derived acronym when the initial letter of a word isn't used, but the same letter from a different position in the same word is used, e.g. the second 'R' of 'regression'.

While the code for HEALER is available online, none of the five C++ files contain the word HEALER in their name or anywhere in their code. Nor is there any form of README or accompanying documentation. This is all that you see…

Congratulations to our three worthy JABBA award winners!