BOSC 2008

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The Bosc Pair

The 9th annual Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (BOSC 2008) will take place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as one of several Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings occurring in conjunction with the 16th annual Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology Conference (ISMB 2008).


The Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (BOSC) is sponsored by the Open Bioinformatics Foundation (O|B|F), a non-profit group dedicated to promoting the practice and philosophy of Open Source software development within the biological research community. Many Open Source bioinformatics packages are widely used by the research community across many application areas and form a cornerstone in enabling research in the genomic and post-genomic era. Open source bioinformatics software has facilitated rapid innovation and dissemination of new computational methods as well as informatics infrastructure. Since the work of the Open Source Bioinformatics Community represents some of the most cutting edge of Bioinformatics in general, the overall theme for the conference this year is "Tackling Hard Problems with Emerging Technologies". Topics under this umbrella include cyberinfrastructure, grid computing and workflow management and discovery, and visualization. We will also have a series of update talks about the main Open Source Bioinformatics Software suites.

One of the hallmarks of BOSC is the coming together of the open source developer community in one location. A face-to-face meeting of this community creates synergy where participants can work together to create use cases, prototype working code, or run bootcamps for developers from other projects as short, informal, and hands-on tutorials in new software packages and emerging technologies. In short, BOSC is not just a conference for presentations of completed work, but is a dynamic meeting where collaborative work gets done.

Important Dates

March 10: Call for speakers and abstracts opens.

May 11: Abstract submission deadline.

June 2: Notification of accepted talks.

June 4: Early registration discount cut-off.

July 18-19: BOSC 2008!

Call for Speakers and Abstracts

Abstract submissions will open on Monday, March 10.

All abstracts must be submitted through our [Open Conference Systems http://events.open-bio.org/BOSC2008/openconf.php] site.

This year, BOSC is accepting abstract submissions on the conference theme "Tackling Hard Problems with Emerging Technologies". The conference theme reflects that there are new technologies emerging on both the scientific front (new sequencing technologies, etc.) and the IT front (workflows, mashup/web 2.0, improvements in all of the major programming languages, etc.), which may allow the open source community to solve problems that were previously intractable. Abstracts may be submitted for the following topics.

1. Cyberinfrastructure - This includes topics such as, infrastructure and data modeling, and Web 2.0 technologies such as Peer-to-Peer computing, zeroconf, and web-services, folksonomies/tagging, RSS, and Social Networking.

2. Grid Computing and Workflow Management and Discovery - We particularly invite talks that report progress in making workflow systems easier to use and on how to do distributed-collaborative research , e.g. workflows that encompass the coordination of systems running in different parts of the world.

3. Visualization - Visualization is a maturing area of open source software development. We particularly invite talks that demonstrate innovative visualization systems in the context of workflows.

4. Open Source Software - Speakers will present talks on the use, development, or philosophy of open source software in bioinformatics.

5. Bio* Open Source Project Updates - We invite abstracts from the representatives of the open source projects sponsored by or affiliated to the O|B|F (see Projects).

Notes on Submissions

The Open Bioinformatics Foundation, which is the sole sponsor of BOSC, is dedicated to promoting the practice and philosophy of Open Source Software Development within the Biological Research Community. For this reason, in order to be considered for acceptance, any talk submitted to be presented at BOSC which concerns a specific software system to be used by the research community must be licensed with a recognized Open Source License, and be available for download by anyone using ftp, cvs/subversion, or as a tar/zip file from the Project Website.

See the following websites for further details:

NOTE: Abstract submissions will not be accepted via e-mail this year. All abstracts must be submitted through the Open Conference Systems interface which will open Monday, March 10, 2008.


Please see the ISMB registration site for details. Online registration opened March 6, 2008.


For more information, contact the organizers, Kam Dahlquist and Darin London, at bosc@open-bio.org.

NOTE: Abstract submissions will not be accepted via e-mail this year. All abstracts must be submitted through the Open Conference Systems interface which will open Monday, March 10, 2008.