BOSC Chair Nomi Harris speaking at BOSC 2017

BOSC Abstract Submission (2020)

BOSC 2020 will be part of BCC2020, the Bioinformatics Community Conference, in Toronto, Canada, July 18-21, 2020.

Important Dates

  • March, 2020: Abstract submission opens
  • April 1: Deadline to apply for OBF Travel Fellowship
  • April 17: Full talk / poster abstract submission deadline
  • May 12: Authors notified
  • May 29: Late poster / late-breaking lightning talk submission deadline
  • July 18-21: BOSC 2020 in Toronto, Canada (as part of BCC2020)
  • 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, are limited to one page (8.5×11” or A4) and 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 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) and a URL for accessing your code or other content. 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, and/or poster), your abstract must describe progress since the last BOSC presentation.

    Correctly formatted (see information to the 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 that include an example 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).

    Usability: 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)

    These instructions will be updated soon.

    BOSC Open Content Requirement

    The Open Bioinformatics Foundation, which coordinates BOSC, is dedicated to promoting the practice and philosophy of Open Source Software Development 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 be licensed with a recognized Open Source License, and be available for download, including source code.

    See the following websites for further information:

    Presentation formats

    Talks chosen from submitted abstracts are generally either “long” (17 minutes + 3 minutes for question) or short/”lightning” (5 minutes). Abstracts that are selected for talks can also be presented as posters.

    In the late round (deadline June 5), abstracts are considered for “Late-Breaking Lightning Talks” or posters. The LBLTs are grouped together in a session, rather than being slotted into the themed sessions (which are already set in the first round).

    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 airfare, hotel and / or conference registration fees up to a value of USD 1,000. BOSC speakers are welcome to apply for a fellowship. We review applications twice a year. The next deadline for applying is April 1, 2020.