BOSC 2021 Abstract Submission

BOSC 2021 was part of ISMB/ECCB 2021 Online, and took place July 29-30, 2021.

Go to the submission page for BOSC 2022

Important Dates (2021)

  • May 6, 2021: Talk abstract submission deadline
  • June 3, 2021: Late poster submission deadline
  • July 29-30, 2021: BOSC 2021, part of ISMB/ECCB 2021
  • CoFest: July 31-Aug 1, 2021 (online)
  • BOSC Chair Nomi Harris speaking at BOSC 2017

    Submission guidelines

    What to submit

    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.

    A 200-word short abstract (text only) is required for ALL submissions (talk and/or poster).

    If you want to be considered for a talk, you also MUST submit a 1-2 page “long abstract” as a PDF. Figures welcome as long as the total length is 2 pages or less.

    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.


    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 biology 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 (e.g., educational materials), these should also be made freely available with an appropriate open license. See below for more information.

    Updated: If you presented this work 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! 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

    • Late poster submission deadline: June 3, 2021 at 11:59pm EDT
    • Submissions are via the ISMB EasyChair. If you don’t already have an EasyChair account, you will need to create one.
      • Once you sign in, you will see “Please select the track relevant for your submission.” Select BOSC (5th line down).
      • Later in the submission process, you will be able to specify one or two other COSIs/tracks that your abstract might also fit into.
    • 200-word short abstract is required for ALL submissions (talk and/or poster)
    • If you want to be considered for a talk, you also MUST submit a 1-2 page “long abstract” as a PDF. (Yes, we did suggest to ISMB that calling both of these things “abstracts” was confusing.)
    • If you submit for a talk but your abstract is not chosen for a talk, it will automatically be considered for a poster.
    • If your work is accepted for a talk, you can decide later whether you also want to present it as a poster.
    • Abstract template (optional): bosc2020-abstract-template (MS Word)
    • Submission is free, but to present your talk you need to register for ISMB/ECCB 2021 (see for registration fees and note about fellowships below).

    If you missed the abstract parties on April 15 and April 22, 2021, you can watch a video of BOSC organizer Jason Williams discussing how to write a great BOSC abstract.

    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, then that software must include a recognized Open Source License or Public Domain dedication, and be available for download, including source code. We recommend Open Source Initiative (OSI) Approved Licenses where appropriate. 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 and examples of recognized Open Source Licenses and Public Domain Dedications:

    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 before July 8.

    In the late round (deadline June 3), abstracts will be considered for “Late-Breaking Lightning Talks” or posters. The LBLTs are grouped together in a single session, rather than being slotted into the themed sessions (which are already set in the first round). Abstracts submitted in the late round are not eligible for long talks.

    Requesting registration fee assistance

    We realize that the cost of ISMB/ECCB may be prohibitive for some. If you are submitting an abstract to BOSC and would have difficulty covering the cost of registration, you can request registration fee assistance. To make it easy, this request can be made right on the abstract submission form. (Only the conference chairs will see these fee assistance requests — the abstract reviewers will not.)