What’s the Answer? (what’s up at BioStar?)

BioStar is a site for asking, answering and discussing bioinformatics questions. We are members of the community and find it very useful. Often questions and answers arise at BioStar that are germane to our readers (end users of genomics resources). Every Thursday we will be highlighting one of those questions and answers here in this thread. You can ask questions in this thread, or you can always join in at BioStar.

This week I’m highlighting some changes at BioStar. After the move away from StackExchange, the BioStar platform became a lot more customizable. Istvan Albert has been working on various features that didn’t exist at the old site, and the new organization has sections for jobs, videos, news, etc. Last week in the “News” section some information turned up that will be interesting to the folks who use the site:

News: State of Biostar – future directions (January 2013)

Hello Everyone,

A quick post on the state of Biostar and we are looking for suggestions for directions/goals that you would like to see this year.

We have just released a new version of Biostar (version 1.2.11), a release that now incorporates many of the suggestions from Help make Biostar better! Add your feedback, opinions and suggestions.. Most of these new features have been created as programming work contracted out to Luma Education, whose chief engineer has been a long time Biostar contributor.

This release also marks the presence of our first commercial sponsor Counsyl a Stanford startup founded by social entrepreneurs and philanthropists, developers of the Universal Genetic Test. Their job ad is now sponsored, meaning that it will appear on the top of the Jobs section. Their support made it possible to create this release in such a timely fashion.

For the next year we wish to expand the reach of the site and our goal is to encourage content that goes beyond installation/errors/troubleshooting. We want to promote the creation and dissemination of the hard to find expertise and knowhow that makes scientific breakthroughs possible . We are also considering the idea of making Biostar a place where bioinformatics experts and those needing the expertise could find each other. We’d be happy to hear some of your opinions on it, or any other suggestions/feedback that you may have.

As always keep up the good work! Time and again I am amazed at the value of the content that is created on this site, just reading and browsing the posts makes me a better scientist.

Istvan Albert

I have added something I’d like to see. Go have a look at my suggestion, and see if you agree. Or if you have other ideas to build out on the goals of BioStar, please add them. There’s a lot of good discussion going on about things that might make the site have new features that would enhance the interactions and the value of the community.