Tag Archives: questions

BioStar, moved

We here at OpenHelix love BioStar. If you haven’t noticed, we highlight an answer from Biostar every Thursday in our “What’s the Answer” thread. For those new to Biostar, a quick intro: Biostar is a Q&A site for bioinformatics and genomics or, as it describes on the about page:

This site’s focus is bioinformaticscomputational genomics and biological data analysis.

Well, that’s not particularly descriptive, but read on and you’ll find that BioStar is an excellent question and answer site. The questions and answers can be quite detailed and complex, or as they say on the about page, “No question is too trivial or too “newbie”.  We’ve found a lot of use and a lot of good answers (and questions). Mary and I are both there (Mary is a moderator) and every week we search the site for questions and answers that are particularly useful for our readers.

But that’s describing BioStar wasn’t the title of this post (and we’ve done that before :), but to remind folks that BioStar has moved to it’s own home. It used to be housed at StackExchange, but for various reasons (discussion history if you want to plunge) the decision was made to migrate BioStar to a new site. That migration took place last weekend, to http://www.biostars.org. It’s a nice new site with all the functions and features you remember, a few changed things (reputation is calculated differently). A smooth and happy move. Your old URL should redirect to the new one, but if it doesn’t, you have it here. Congratulations to the community at Biostars to a new site and start.

 

BioStar

I’ve been using Biostar for the last month and am finding it to be a great resource. Biostar is a Q&A space for genomics and bioinformatics questions. Currently, it is using ‘StackExchange‘, which is a community-driven Q&A forum. Today’s world in biology research was ripe for Biostar (we should know ;-).

The way Biostar works is that you get registered. Once registered you can ask or answer questions concerning bioinformatics or genomics. Questions and answers are rated and discussion can ensue. Questions are organized by tags and you can immediately see if they’ve been answered, how they were rated. Users are given points based on the number of questions and answers given, voting actions and more. This gives the user ‘reputation,’ this is a “rough estimation of how much the biostar community trusts you” as the faq says. The more reputation you receive, the more actions you can do in the community. For example, it takes no reputation to answer or ask, but more to vote, retag questions, etc.

So far the questions (there have been over 600 at the writing of this blog post) have ranged from the complex to straightforward. Some questions are about coding to perform a given bioinformatics task such as extracting sequence from 3GB Fasta file or how to get data from a database or resource. Often there are questions about where to find specific kinds of data. This question a couple weeks ago asked for “web resources to find cancer indication where a given gene is amplified.”  The answers given (including one from our own Mary :) resulted in some interesting resources such as Oncomine. I wasn’t able to try it out since it requires registration and/or subscription, but from the description given seems to be a useful resource. Between searching our database of publicly available databases for cancer-related and asking, a researcher should be able to find the right resource for their needs. Biostar seems to be a great fit for what we do at OpenHelix. Consider comparative genomics; one could use our search to find the right resources, then use  one of our tutorials to get a solid understanding of the resource and then for the more detailed how-to’s once they have the foundation, go to BioStar.

We are considering adding a “Biostar answer” of the week and integrating/linking more closely with Biostar in our WYP threads. We believe this will only enhance the OpenHelix blog’s mission to educate and outreach to researchers on genomics resources. Biostar has grown and matured quite well over the last few months from when I last read about it, I believe it’s developing into quite a nice community.

What's your problem? Open Thread

Welcome to the “What’s Your Problem?” (WYP) open thread. The purpose of this entry is to allow the community to askq_mark2.jpg questions on the use of genomics resources. Think of us as a virtual help desk. If you have a question about how to access a certain kind of data, or how to use a database, or what kind of resources there are for your particular research problem, just ask in the comments. OpenHelix staff will keep watch on the comment threads and answer those questions to the best of our knowledge. Additionally, we encourage readers to answer questions in the comments too. If you know the answer to another reader’s question, please chime in! The “WYP” thread will be posted every Thursday and remain at the top of the blog for 24 hours.You can keep up with this thread by remembering to check back, by subscribing to the RSS comments feed to this WYP post or by subscribing to be notified by email of new comments to the post (use checkbox at end of comment form, you can unsubscribe later). If you want to be notified of future WYP posts (every Thursday), you can subscribe to the WYP feed.

What's your problem? Open Thread

q_mark2.jpgWelcome to the “What’s Your Problem?” (WYP) open thread. The purpose of this entry is to allow the community to ask questions on the use of genomics resources. Think of us as a virtual help desk. If you have a question about how to access a certain kind of data, or how to use a database, or what kind of resources there are for your particular research problem, just ask in the comments. OpenHelix staff will keep watch on the comment threads and answer those questions to the best of our knowledge. Additionally, we encourage readers to answer questions in the comments too. If you know the answer to another reader’s question, please chime in! The “WYP” thread will be posted every Thursday and remain at the top of the blog for 24 hours.

You can keep up with this thread by remembering to check back, by subscribing to the RSS comments feed to this WYP post or by subscribing to be notified by email of new comments to the post (use checkbox at end of comment form, you can unsubscribe later). If you want to be notified of future WYP posts (every Thursday), you can subscribe to the WYP feed.

What's Your Problem? Open Thread

Welcome to the “What’s Your Problem?” (WYP) open thread. The purpose of this entry is to allow the community to askq_mark2.jpg questions on the use of genomics resources. Think of us as a virtual help desk. If you have a question about how to access a certain kind of data, or how to use a database, or what kind of resources there are for your particular research problem, just ask in the comments. OpenHelix staff will keep watch on the comment threads and answer those questions to the best of our knowledge. Additionally, we encourage readers to answer questions in the comments too. If you know the answer to another reader’s question, please chime in! The “WYP” thread will be posted every Thursday and remain at the top of the blog for 24 hours.You can keep up with this thread by remembering to check back, by subscribing to the RSS comments feed to this WYP post or by subscribing to be notified by email of new comments to the post (use checkbox at end of comment form, you can unsubscribe later). If you want to be notified of future WYP posts (every Thursday), you can subscribe to the WYP feed.

What’s Your Problem? Open Thread

q_mark2.jpgWelcome to the “What’s Your Problem?” (WYP) open thread. The purpose of this entry is to allow the community to ask questions on the use of genomics resources. Think of us as a virtual help desk. If you have a question about how to access a certain kind of data, or how to use a database, or what kind of resources there are for your particular research problem, just ask in the comments. OpenHelix staff will keep watch on the comment threads and answer those questions to the best of our knowledge. Additionally, we encourage readers to answer questions in the comments too. If you know the answer to another reader’s question, please chime in! The “WYP” thread will be posted every Thursday and remain at the top of the blog for 24 hours.

You can keep up with this thread by remembering to check back, by subscribing to the RSS comments feed to this WYP post or by subscribing to be notified by email of new comments to the post (use checkbox at end of comment form, you can unsubscribe later). If you want to be notified of future WYP posts (every Thursday), you can subscribe to the WYP feed.

{I’m closing comments here since a fresh thread is up–Mary}

What's your problem? Open Thread

q_mark2.jpgWelcome to the “What’s Your Problem?” (WYP) open thread. The purpose of this entry is to allow the community to ask questions on the use of genomics resources. Think of us as a virtual help desk. If you have a question about how to access a certain kind of data, or how to use a database, or what kind of resources there are for your particular research problem, just ask in the comments. OpenHelix staff will keep watch on the comment threads and answer those questions to the best of our knowledge. Additionally, we encourage readers to answer questions in the comments too. If you know the answer to another reader’s question, please chime in! The “WYP” thread will be posted every Thursday and remain at the top of the blog for 24 hours.

You can keep up with this thread by remembering to check back, by subscribing to the RSS comments feed to this WYP post or by subscribing to be notified by email of new comments to the post (use checkbox at end of comment form, you can unsubscribe later). If you want to be notified of future WYP posts (every Thursday), you can subscribe to the WYP feed.

What's Your Problem? Open Thread

q_mark2.jpgWelcome to the “What’s Your Problem?” (WYP) open thread. The purpose of this entry is to allow the community to ask questions on the use of genomics resources. Think of us as a virtual help desk. If you have a question about how to access a certain kind of data, or how to use a database, or what kind of resources there are for your particular research problem, just ask in the comments. OpenHelix staff will keep watch on the comment threads and answer those questions to the best of our knowledge. Additionally, we encourage readers to answer questions in the comments too. If you know the answer to another reader’s question, please chime in! The “WYP” thread will be posted every Thursday and remain at the top of the blog for 24 hours.

You can keep up with this thread by remembering to check back, by subscribing to the RSS comments feed to this WYP post or by subscribing to be notified by email of new comments to the post (use checkbox at end of comment form, you can unsubscribe later). If you want to be notified of future WYP posts (every Thursday), you can subscribe to the WYP feed.

What's Your Problem? Open Thread

question_mark2.jpgWelcome to the “What’s Your Problem?” (WYP) open thread. The purpose of this entry is to allow the community to ask questions on the use of genomics resources. Think of us as a virtual help desk.  If you have a question about how to access a certain kind of data, or how to use a database, or what kind of resources there are for your particular research problem, just ask in the comments. OpenHelix staff will keep watch on the comment threads and answer those questions to the best of our knowledge. Additionally, we encourage readers to answer questions in the comments too. If you know the answer to another reader’s question, please chime in! The “WYP” thread will be posted every Thursday and remain at the top of the blog for 24 hours.

You can keep up with this thread by remembering to check back, by subscribing to the RSS comments feed to this WYP post or by subscribing to be notified by email of new comments to the post (use checkbox at end of comment form, you can unsubscribe later). If you want to be notified of future WYP posts (every Thursday), you can subscribe to the WYP feed.

What's your problem? Open Thread

blue_key_qmark.jpgWelcome to the “What’s Your Problem?” (WYP) open thread. The purpose of this entry is to allow the community to ask questions on the use of genomics resources. If you have a question about how to access a certain kind of data, or how to use a database, or what kind of resources there are for your particular research problem, just ask in the comments. OpenHelix staff will keep watch on the comment threads and answer those questions to the best of our knowledge. Additionally, we encourage readers to answer questions in the comments too. If you know the answer to another reader’s question, chime in.

The “WYP” thread will be posted every Thursday and remain at the top of the blog for 24 hours.

You can keep up with this thread by remembering to check back, by subscribing to the RSS comments feed to this WYP post or by subscribing to be notified by email of new comments to the post (use checkbox at end of comment form, you can unsubscribe later). If you want to be notified of future WYP posts (every Thursday), you can subscribe to the WYP feed.