Minutes:2010 ConfCall

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  1. Old business
  2. New business
    1. BOSC
      • BOSC 2010 (Kam) - held with ISMB2010 in Boston, MA, USA
        • Money spent/made attendee number, any other feedback
      • BOSC 2011 - with ISMB 2011 Vienna, Austria
        • 2011 Organizing Committee chairs
        • Plans for the conference
    2. Treasurer's 2010 report (ChrisD)
    3. BoD membership and succession.
      • Kam Dahlquist is resigning from the BoD. Jason Stajich wants to resign in the near future, too.
      • Nominations
      • Plan to elect new BoD members and rotate officers.
    4. OBF Hardware & Sysadmin report (JasonS and ChrisD)
      • Domain name registrar and registration payment
    5. Additional topics proposed by community

Minutes from the meeting

Venue: held by conference call, scheduled for 5pm EDT (21:00 UTC).


  • Directors: Kam Dahlquist, Jason Stajich, Chris Dagdigian, Hilmar Lapp, Nomi Harris
  • Guests: Ron Taylor, Peter Cock, Mauricio Herrera Cuadra


Hilmar calls meeting to order at 5.05pm EDT.

  • Approval of previous meeting minutes.
    • Jason moves to approve, Nomi, and Chris second. 2009 minutes approved by unanimous consent.

BOSC 2010

  • 93 paid delegates, 5 complementary, total of 98. This is almost the same number as last year.
  • Kam has accounting spreadsheet from Stephen Leard.
  • We currently have $16,127.96 in escrow. However there are outstanding expenses: reimbursement of the two keynote speakers, who haven't fully turned in their receipts and paperwork yet. This may amount to $2,000-3,000.
  • Had large number of speakers, very well attended.
  • We are going forward with the proceedings. There are 13 submitted papers (about half of the number of eligible to submit), all have been reviewed, and today was the deadline for turning in revisions (3 still outstanding). 2-3 required major substantive revisions, none were rejected. Most required only minor revisions. Entire package will be sent to BMC (probably within the next 2-3 weeks) which will do the formatting and invoice the authors for publication charges. We don't know how much time it will take BMC from there.
    • Many of the submissions were in the cloud computing area. Given the ratio of submitted to elgible, there clearly is a demand. However, for Bio* projects this may not be a very suitable venue for publication (and none of the submissions were from Bio* project updates). People decided for themselves whether they wanted to submit, there was no active recruiting.
    • Caveat for whoever shepherds this next year is that BMC doesn't offer a lot of support. Call for papers, lining up reviewers, following up, etc all need to be done by us.
    • Question is what the return for the cost of investment is. How many speakers wouldn't have come if they wouldn't have had the opportunity to submit to a proceedings. Also might ask those who ddn't submit to the proceedings whether the option to do so was a factor in decision making. BOSC 2011 committee might want to conduct a survey (ask Stephen Leard for participant list).

CodeFest 2010

  • Seems to have gone pretty well, resulted in useful connections, work got done, and a lot of enthusiasm got generated to do it again in 2011.
  • Someone should present a summary about the 2011 event right afterwards at BOSC 2011. The BOSC 2011 will follow up with that, as well on posting a report about the 2010 codefest on the wiki.

BOSC 2011

  • Nomi Harris and Peter Rice will co-chair the 2011 conference.
    • Nomi reports that they would like to better exploit synergy with the other SIGs, both in terms of speakers and attendees. There's been a lot of floating observed. Possibly share keynote speakers, which might allow sharing the expenses. Nomi will talk with Hershel Safer (ISMB SIG coordinator)
    • This would be Nomi's first time to chair the event. She has participated in the organization since 1999, though, and has co-organized the GMOD meeting in 2003 (in Berkeley). She would like to reach out to the GMOD crowd to increase participation at BOSC.
    • Hilmar moves to give a vote of confidence to Nomi and Peter as the BOSC 2011 chairs and to give them authority to run the conference. Kam, Jason, and Chris second. Approved by unanimous consent.
  • Nomi asks for volunteers from the OBF Board to join the committee.

2010 Treasurer's report

  • Have cash assets of around $31,000, sitting in two checking accounts. This does not include the funds held in escrow by ISCB, to which we don't get direct accesss.
  • There are issues with sending money to international recipients.
  • We had 3 travel fellowship recipients at BOSC 2010. The 3rd one is missing from the treasurer's report.
  • Can we somehow better tap into the funds held in escrow by ISCB?
    • Kam advises that the 6 complementary BOSC registrations could easily be used for organizing committee members.
    • Can the escrow funds somehow be used to help defray publication costs for Bio* proceedings submissions?
    • We could use the escrow funds towards catering (social dinner?) or poster session. Maybe include a question about the value of a poster session in a survey.
  • ACTION: ChrisD will send records to Kam that those fellowship awards were all paid out. ChrisD to amend the financial report with the missing $250 award payment.
  • Approval of the 2010 financial report was postponed until after it is corrected.

Board of Directors membership and succession

  • Kam is stepping down from the Board effective today. She enjoyed working with us, and may consider rejoining at a later time when she can make the time available. The Board expresses their collective gratitude to Kam for volunteering her time and her service, which was very much appreciated. Ron seconds that on behalf of the public.
  • Jason has served for a long time and would like to step down. He has not submitted a resignation letter yet, because he would like to assist in the transition process. There is no candidate yet who could step up.
  • We need to reach out to tap into the energy among the community.
  • There hasn't been much time and attention invested in increased outreach, which would need to go hand-in-hand with any fundraising efforts (and vice versa). Alternatively, we could restrict ourselves to the currentl role (support of Bio* projects).
  • It is worth noting that we formed at a time when code hosting and remote collaboration services were sparse and unreliable. This has drastically changed in the meantime.
  • Do we to issue a Call to Arms? Or go back to just support of coding?
  • Is standardization initiatives another possible purview in terms of mission? There are already a number of organizations that do this.
  • We need to reach out and nominate at least 5 new members for the BoD. Would it be worthwhile to reach out to CIOs of the big genome sequencing / genomics centers? Another possibility could be the US federal government institutions?
  • ACTION: Hilmar (with Nominating Committee) to Identify candidates by the end of the year. Also, the Bio* projects should solicit BoD candidates from within their ranks.

OBF Hardware and Non-cash Assets

  • There is a question about the Biopython.org domain. It is not owned by OBF, but by Jeff Chang. Peter will get in contact with Jeff Chang to establish consent to ownership transfer.
  • We will move our domain registrar from Network Solutions to a cheaper alternative in 2 years at the latest, which is when registrations will come up for renewal again.
  • Our hardware continues to age and is at the point where it could die. The question is how to deal with that: Should we upgrade our hardware, or should we start a process of migrating our services to hosted solutions. These days, there are many providers, and costs are low or even zero.
  • ACTION: Jason and ChrisD draft a plan for what looks like the best way forward, then circulate this on the root-l mailing list for input and feedback.

Next Board of Directors meeting is targeted for December 2010, as there is a lot of remaining stuff to be discussed and decided, especially hardware, hosting of services, nominations, financial report amendment, etc.

Meeting is adjourned at 6.36pm EDT.