BOSC

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The Bosc Pear

The Bioinformatics Open Source Conference has been held annually as a Special Interest Group (SIG) of the ISCB's annual ISMB conference. BOSC promotes and facilitates the open source development of bioinformatics tools and open science. The aims of the conferences are to:

  1. Provide developers with a forum for displaying the results of their development efforts to the wider research community;
  2. Provide a focused environment for developers and users to interact and share ideas about software development, open science, and practical techniques in bioinformatics;
  3. Promote Open Science, with its focus on sharing data and tools, transparency, reproducibility, and data provenance;
  4. Inform the research community of important developments occurring within the Open Source Bioinformatics Developer community.

BOSC meetings to date

In recent years the BOSC meetings have been preceded by a two day Codefest, an informal developer meeting. In 2018, the event has been renamed CollaborationFest and will be held after BOSC as part of the GCCBOSC meeting.

BOSC-related channels and links

Getting involved

BOSC is the result of many people's efforts and energy, from attendees all the way up to the chairs. There are many ways to get involved with the conference:

Attend

There's no conference without attendees! Your presence in the community is crucial to the success of the event, and we're always happy to see new faces. We encourage everyone to attend the main meeting and/or Codefest, meet people, and tweet about their experience.

Present your work

Our focus is on open source work and communities. We require your code to be open and properly licensed, or else your abstract will be passed over. If your work is more about training materials than code, we'd like your materials to be open and licensed so others can benefit from it!

In the early days of BOSC, an abstract that was basically "I wrote some bioinformatics code, and it's open source" was good enough to merit at least a short talk, but we've grown since then. Even if a project is new and therefore doesn't yet have a community, there should be some sort of plan for building a community of users and/or developers.

Even with the hard requirement of openness, we do try to provide a platform to everyone who wants to present. We have long talks, short (or "lightning") talks, posters, and demos, and we really do want to hear from everyone.

Organise a BoF

"Birds of a Feather" groups are self-organised meetings during BOSC where anyone who wants to have a conversation with the community can gather and share. Usually BoFs are submitted through the conference website, and the list of topics will be available to all attendees. These tend to happen over lunch or dinner, or in the evenings, and can be a great way to meet people in smaller more accessible groups. Past BoFs have included project introductions, sponsor demos, discussions on diversity and inclusion, and even one for people on twitter!

Review abstracts

Conference abstracts are reviewed by volunteers who express their interest. We encourage reviewers to be constructive in their comments, and many sign their reviews. Most reviewers will be assigned 3-4 abstracts per call, and there are two calls per conference (the main one, and a "late breaking lightning talk" round). We acknowledge our reviewers on the conference website and in the program. If you'd like to be a reviewer, contact the organising committee at bosc@open-bio.org.

Join the organizing committee

The organising committee does the heavy lifting for making sure BOSC happens every year. Committee members help wrangle reviewers, assist in drafting and sending communication to reviewers, participants, and attendees, design programs and posters, find dinner locations, chair sessions during the conference, and more! The workload gets heavy in two waves: first when abstracts are coming in and being reviewed, and then again as the conference gets closer and the practical details become important. You'll also be expected to answer questions during the conference, both in person and online as questions come in to the mailing list, and there's usually a postmortem after the conference where we talk about what went well and what we'll improve for the next year.

We acknowledge committee members on the conference website and in the program, and they are entitled to complimentary conference registration if their institution/employer doesn't already support them. In addition to this, chairs and co-chairs can have their travel and expenses supported by OBF if they aren't covered by their institution/employer. Travel support for other committee members may be available, but is up to the discretion of the co-chairs and OBF board and may be subject to available funds.

If you'd like to join the BOSC organising committee, contact us at bosc@open-bio.org.

Sponsors

The Open Bioinformatics Foundation welcomes donations to help support our work and the BOSC meeting, including offering Travel Fellowships and registration fee waivers.

  • In 2017 we requested USD $1000 for sponsoring BOSC, and would include your name and logo on the conference webpage, selected publicity material including blog posts and tweets, and during the conference itself during the opening and/or closing slides. Sponsors are welcome to submit work to be presented at BOSC as a talk or poster, but this will be reviewed impartially like any other submission.
  • Likewise in 2017, we requested USD $1500 for sponsoring BOSC and the Codefest, or USD $500 for sponsoring only the pre-BOSC Codefest, with similar publicity arrangements. Here some of the donation directly funded lunch and refreshment for the Codefest participants. Sponsor's developer/technical staff are welcome to attend the Codefest.

We are open to discussing specific requests, such as distributing stickers or leaflets, or earmarking the sponsorship to a specific activity.

If you would like to be a sponsor of BOSC, please contact the organising committee at bosc@open-bio.org.