Microgrant report: GCCBOSC 2018

By Karsten Hokamp on behalf of the GCCBOSC 2018 organizing committee

The first joint event of the Galaxy Community Conference and the Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (GCCBOSC 2018) was held from June 25-30 at Reed College in Portland, OR. The Galaxy Community supports data-intensive biomedical research through the open-source Galaxy platform. BOSC is organized by the Open Bioinformatics Foundation, a nonprofit group dedicated to promoting the practice and philosophy of open source software development and open science within the biological research community. This was the 19th annual BOSC, but the first one to be held together with GCC.

The conference brought together over 300 bioinformatics researchers, biocurators, developers and users of open source software from academic and private institutions around the world in a relaxed and collegial atmosphere. A wide range of topics in bioinformatics open source projects, open science and open data were covered. This included workflows, developer tools and libraries, translational/medical bioinformatics, community building and standards for representing and sharing data.

Posters, software demos, birds-of-a-feather meetings, talks, invited keynotes, training, and collaborative work events were presented and held over six days. A panel session discussed the importance and underfunding of documentation and training in open source bioinformatics. Presentations of specific interest to biocurators included reports on miRTop, InterMine and the Mammalian Ortholog and Annotation Database, amongst many others. Several presentations covered resources that support biocurators in their work, such as BioThings Hub, Apollo and JBrowse.

GCCBOSC 2018 sought to be a family-friendly conference, and the ISB Micro-grant helped make this happen. These funds allowed the conference to offer subsidized child care and enabled parents with young children to attend (including one of the keynote speakers). This support for families received a lot of attention, both at the conference and online.

The International Society for Biocuration was listed as a sponsor in the conference materials, including the printed program, presentation slides and web pages.