BOSC 2024 Abstract Submission

BOSC 2024 is part of ISMB 2024, and will take place July 15-16, 2024. The conference will be held in person in Montreal, Canada, with an online participation option.

ISMB states: “For a variety of reasons, ISCB strongly prefers that scientific research accepted for oral presentation be presented in-person at the conference venue. ISCB will grant remote presentation options for reasons associated with maternity/paternity leave, care for a family member, personal/medical disability, sickness, financial hardship, or potential visa problems.”

New ISMB rule this year: a presenting author can only present ONE talk or poster. If you want to present your work as both a talk and a poster, you have to do a separate poster submission with a different author.

We welcome submission of your 1-2 page abstract for consideration as a talk or poster. Please see below for submission instructions.

Photo from BOSC 2023
Poster from BOSC 2022

Key Dates

  • March 21, 2024: Early Poster Acceptance submission deadline (talks and posters)
  • March 29: Notification to early submitters about whether they got at least a poster
  • April 19: Regular abstract submission deadline (talks and posters)
  • May 13: Notification to authors
  • May 20: Late poster submission deadline
  • May 28: Late poster acceptance notification
  • July 12-16, 2024: ISMB 2024 (Montreal, Canada and online)
  • July 15-16, 2024: BOSC 2024 (part of ISMB)

    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 250-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 attach a 1-2 page “long abstract” as a PDF. Figures welcome as long as the total length is 2 pages or less.

    Your abstract PDF should include the title, author name(s), open source license, and code or project URL (even though this information is also requested on the submission form).


    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 must be available at the URL you list at the time of review.

    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.

    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

    • 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.
    • A 250-word short abstract is required for ALL submissions (talk and/or poster). (Confusingly, the submission form refers to this as simply “Abstract”.)
    • 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.
    • New ISMB rule this year: a presenting author may present NO MORE THAN ONE talk or poster. If you want your work to be presented as both a talk and a poster, a different presenting author needs to submit for a poster.
    • Abstract template (optional): bosc-abstract-template (MS Word)
    • You don’t need to register before you submit your abstract, but to present your talk or poster you will need to register for ISMB.

    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).

    In the late round, abstracts will be considered for posters and, if space permits, for “Late-Breaking Lightning Talks”. 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.

    Review process

    Abstracts submitted to BOSC are reviewed by at least three reviewers. Our review process and rubric can be found here.

    Requesting registration fee assistance

    We realize that the cost of ISMB 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.) Last year, thanks to help from our sponsors, we were able to grant free registration to 17 participants.