BOSC Chair Nomi Harris speaking at BOSC 2017

BOSC Abstract Submission (2020)

BOSC 2020 will be part of BCC2020, the Bioinformatics Community Conference, which will take place online July 19-21, 2020.

Important Dates

  • May 8: Abstract submission closes
  • June 6: Authors notified
  • June 18: Deadline for authors of accepted abstracts to upload revised versions of their abstracts
  • July 10: Early registration ends
  • July 17-18: BCC2020 optional tutorials (online)
  • July 19-21, 2020: BOSC 2020, part of BCC2020 (online)
  • July 22-23 and 24-25: CoFest and CoFest Encore (online)
  • Submission guidelines

    What to submit

    In your one-page abstract, please describe how your work fits into the open source bioinformatics / open science ecosystem. We like to see examples of biological applications of your work, and a summary of the current and/or projected community aspect of your project.

    Abstracts must be in PDF format and are limited to one page (8.5×11” or A4). Images/figures welcome as long as they fit on one page.

    Your PDF should include the title, author name(s), open source license, and code or project URL on the abstract itself (even though this information is also requested on the submission form). Accepted abstracts are published on the BOSC website as-is.

    We are happy to consider abstracts that have also been submitted to other conferences (e.g., ISMB), but please let us know on the submission form.

    We recommend using our abstract template (MS Word).


    To be accepted (even for poster presentation), abstracts submitted to BOSC must be:

    Relevant: Your abstract must describe how your work relates to some aspect of open source software, open science or open data applied to biological or biomedical science.

    Available: Your code / data / materials (e.g., documentation) must be available at the URL you list.

    Open Content: Work discussed in BOSC presentations must be open source / open content, with a recognized license (which must be included in the repository). For abstracts about non-software products or projects (for example, educational materials), these should also be made freely available with an appropriate open license. See below for more information.

    Updated: If you presented this project at a previous BOSC in any form (talk, demo, poster), your abstract must describe progress since the last BOSC presentation.

    Correctly formatted (see info at left).

    Additional criteria

    In addition to the requirements listed at left, we consider the following when selecting abstracts for short or long talks.

    Community impact: Please describe how your work fits into the open source bioinformatics / open science ecosystem. A summary of the current and/or projected community aspect of your project is very helpful.

    Novelty: Innovative approaches are interesting to hear about, but it’s fine to build on existing technology; you don’t need to be novel to get a talk at BOSC. If you can compare your approach with existing approaches, that’s a plus.

    Examples: We like abstracts with examples of how your approach works (e.g. a figure showing the output of a visualization tool, an example of software input/output, or benchmarks on relevant data).

    Runnable: Although we are happy to consider abstracts that describe early-phase projects, our reviewers are likely to look at your code and try to run it. Reviewers like projects that they are able to download and run, and that are well-documented and easy to use.

    How to Submit (BCC 2020)

    • Abstract template: bosc2020-abstract-template (MS Word)
    • Submissions are via EasyChair. If you don’t already have an EasyChair account, you will need to create one.
    • Once you sign in, you will get to a screen that says “Please select the track relevant for your submission”. Choose BOSC or (if your work is related to Galaxy) Galaxy.
    • Submission deadline: May 8, 2020

    BOSC Open Content Requirement

    The Open Bioinformatics Foundation, which coordinates BOSC, is dedicated to promoting the practice and philosophy of Open Source Software Development and Open Science within the biological research community.

    For this reason, if a submitted abstract concerns a specific software system for use by the research community or materials, then that software must include a recognized Open Source License, and be available for download, including source code. Similarly, abstracts with a focus on data, analysis methods, and/or documentation must make these available in a manner consistent with Open Science standards, utilizing appropriate licensing and approaches that promote open sharing, reuse, and redistribution.

    See the following websites for further information:

    Presentation formats

    Talks chosen from submitted abstracts are generally either “long” (around 15-20 minutes + 3 minutes for question) or short/”lightning” (5 minutes). Authors can also choose demo or poster presentation. We are discussing how to make those work well in an online context.

    Please note that all presentations must be prerecorded by you (at least with audio and slides; video of you is optional). These recordings will be due a few days before the conference.

    Travel Fellowships

    The OBF Travel Fellowship program is aimed at increasing diverse participation at events promoting open source bioinformatics software development and open science in the biological research community. The fellowship can be used to cover registration fees, airfare, hotel, or (new this year!) remote participation costs up to a total of US $1,000. BOSC speakers are welcome to apply for a fellowship. We review applications twice a year, April 1 and October 1.