BOSC 2010 Request for Input

BOSC 2010 is currently in the planning stages. It will be held for 2 days in conjunction with the 18th Annual International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB 2010) in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The dates of BOSC 2010 are July 9-10; the main ISMB Conference runs July 11-13, 2010.  The BOSC 2010 web site can be accessed here:

The BOSC organizing committee is soliciting input on the planning of BOSC 2010 so that we can make it a successful and productive conference for the O|B|F community.  You may send your suggestions to the e-mail address  or add suggestions to the BOSC 2010 talk/discussion wiki page at: Please respond to any or all of the questions below:

1.  For the last several years BOSC has consisted mainly of one or two keynote presentations, other talks chosen from among the submitted abstracts organized into sessions by topic, updates from the Bio* projects, Lightning Talks, and informal Birds of a Feather sessions.  Would you rather see BOSC continue in this fashion, or would you support changing the format to one or all of the following:

  • Tutorials where there were in depth demonstrations and code tutorials. This could be lead off by the OBF projects instead of the traditional update talks, but could feature any open source projects interested. These would be hands on sessions with real code examples, with a focus on teaching people how to leverage various code bases to make real life work easier.  Would you be willing to organize/lead such a session for your project?
  • Discussion following the hands on tutorials, these would be interactive sessions focused around dealing with unsolved issues. The “speaker” would be responsible for setting up a set of discussion topics around an issue of interest, and then facilitating ideas and opinions from the attendees. The goals would be to talk through problems and gather a consensus about options for solving them.  Would you be willing to organize/lead such a session for your project?
  • Mini-hackathon either before, during, or after the 2-day BOSC.  The subject of the hackathon would need to be organized by the individual project leaders/teams.  Some suggestions would be adding/extending support for next-gen sequencing; organizing bugs/tasks so that new beginners can start contributing to the project easily and working on some of those bugs/tasks; organizing some type of contest like the Genome Annotation Assessment Project (GASP) where solutions from different projects compete on arriving at some type of goal.  Would you be willing to organize/lead this type of session?
  • Organizing/creating a LiveCD or Debian download of Bio* projects with documentation to support outreach to the larger bioinformatics community.  Would you be willing to organize/lead this type of session?
  • What session topics would you like to see represented for traditional talks?
  • Who would you like to hear as a keynote speaker?

2.  The BOSC 2010 organizing committee is in discussion with an open access journal to publish a formal Proceedings for BOSC.  If you are planning on submitting an abstract for BOSC 2010, are you interested in submitting a more formal paper to the BOSC proceedings, given that as the author you would need to pay the page charges that could run between US$500-1000?  We are likely to move ahead with plans to have a proceedings, but it would be helpful to know how many submissions to expect.

3.  Call for volunteers.  Organizing tutorial/hackathons and such will only be possible if individuals step forward to lead these sessions.  Please let us know if you would be willing to serve in any capacity.  We also need volunteers to review abstracts for the more “traditional” sessions, please let us know if you are willing to do this as well.

Timeline: We are planning on putting out the Call for Abstracts in mid-January.  To be on track, we would like to receive your input by Friday, January 8.  If you are willing to step forward to organize a tutorial/discussion/hackathon, you would need to commit by that time, although there would still be some more time to put the actual program together in the new year.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Kam Dahlquist
Chair, BOSC 2010 on behalf of the BOSC 2010 Organizing committee:
Brad Chapman, Michael Heur, Darin London, Anton Nekrutenko, Steffen Moeller, Jim Procter
And the O|B|F Board:
Chris Dagdigian, Nomi Harris, Hilmar Lapp, Jason Stajich