Leading Professional Society for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Connecting, Training, Empowering, Worldwide

Upcoming Conferences

A Global Community

  • ISCB Student Council

    dedicated to facilitating development for students and young researchers

  • Affiliated Groups

    The ISCB Affiliates program is designed to forge links between ISCB and regional non-profit membership groups, centers, institutes and networks that involve researchers from various institutions and/or organizations within a defined geographic region involved in the advancement of bioinformatics. Such groups have regular meetings either in person or online, and an organizing body in the form of a board of directors or steering committee. If you are interested in affiliating your regional membership group, center, institute or network with ISCB, please review these guidelines (.pdf) and submit your application using the online ISCB Affiliated Group Application form. Your exploratory questions to ISCB about the appropriateness of a potential future affiliation are also welcome by Diane E. Kovats, ISCB Executive Director (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

  • Communities of Special Interest

    topically-focused collaborative communities
     

     

  • ISCBconnect

    open dialogue and collaboration to solve problems and identify opportunities

  • ISCB Member Directory

    connect with ISCB worldwide

  • ISCB Innovation Forum

    a unique opportunity for industry

Professional Development, Training and Education

ISCBintel and Achievements

ISCB Media Access Policies & Guidelines


ISCB provides complimentary press registration to pre-approved members of the working press with appropriate press credentials, and to working freelance journalists with a letter of assignment (on the publication’s official letterhead) from an editor.

Eligibility Requirements

The following individuals are eligible for press registration:

● Reporters, writers, producers, and editors as well as photographers and videographers with staff credentials from newspapers, magazines, online news services, wire services, and radio or television networks and stations
● Freelancers with assignment letters from editors of established, verifiable media outlets (Letters of Assignment must appear on the publication’s official letterhead.)
● Freelancers with at least one bylined article/report published online, in print, or broadcast by an established, verifiable media outlet during the six months prior to the meeting
● Representatives from journals that have a verifiable featured section or media outlet that reports news from the community at large with letter of assignment from the editor
● Online news services or online outlets that provide daily or weekly coverage of health and science
● Science bloggers who frequently comment about research, health issues, careers in science, or STEM education will be considered on a case by case basis.

ISCB encourages the above group to submit the media pass application in advance of the meeting. Once the media pass request is approved, a complimentary registration code will be provided.

The following individuals are not eligible for complimentary press registration:

● Writers, editors, and public relations professionals affiliated with exhibitors
● Public affairs staff from any association or organization
● Industry representatives or financial/industry analysts
● Writers and editors for industry publications and websites
● Scholarly journal editorial staff or publishers
● Representatives from journals that do not have a featured section or media outlet that reports news from the community at large
● Representatives of public relations firms and the public relations/communications offices of industry, academic, government, and nonprofit organizations

The above individuals must register as regular attendees and pay the required registration fee regardless of affiliation with a news or trade media organization, contracted exhibitor, scientific journal, or publishing company.

ISCB reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to determine an individual’s eligibility for press registration.

Press/Media Badges
Members of the working press/media whose applications for press/media credentials are approved in advance of the meeting must pick up their press/media badges and meeting materials at the registration desk upon arrival at the meeting.

Press/media badges allow access to scientific sessions and the exhibit floor. Badges do not grant access to private or ticketed events, to committee or private meetings, or to the ISCB office or other private areas. ISCB reserves the right to request a member of the press/media leave an area of its meeting space.

Press/Media who plan to register onsite should bring identification, staff credentials, assignment letters, and/or bylined articles.


While at the conference, press/media must:

● Wear or display their official ISCB press/media badge at all times while on site
● Not exchange, loan, or borrow press/media badges. Individuals who do so will be required to leave the meeting
● Follow the rules and the meeting code of conduct including the expected behavior policy
● Attend the ISCB Town Hall meeting

Approved press/media pass holders are required to provide ISCB with copies of all articles written about presentations, scientists, programs, or other activities held during or pertaining to the conference.


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ISCB Leadership Nominations and Elections

Vote Now!  ISCB Leadership Nominations and Elections

The nomination system for student council leaders, board members and officers consists of members submitting nominations via an online form. Members must first login to the membership page, and then select "Leadership Nomination" from the menu on the left of the page once logged in. Members of affiliated regional groups who are not ISCB members may submit nominations by contacting us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Text below outlines election procedures, to jump directly to a section, select the following: Timeline, Call for Nominations, Curriculum Vita, Criteria for Selection, Review of Nominees by Board Directors, Electronic Discussion, Electronic Voting, Board of Directors, EC Responsibilities, Training Period

2019 NOMINATIONS & ELECTIONS TIMELINE

February 15:
(firm annual date)
Call for nominations for President-elect and Vice President (hereafter collectively referred to as "Officers"), and for the Board of Directors.
Only members can nominate; self-nominations are not allowed.
April 18
(1 week after the April BoD Meeting)
Closing date for Board of Directors Nominations
May 10
(~4 weeks
prior to the June BoD Mtg)

Closing date for Board of Directors nominees’ acceptance via submission of candidate statement

May 12 - 29:
(Minimum 2 weeks + 1 day
pre June BoD teleconference)
Board of Directors nominees endorsement period by current board members; no limit on number of nominees a board member can endorse.
May 30:
(Minimum 2 weeks pre June
BoD teleconference)

Results of endorsement period available for view by current board members; candidates listed alphabetically in 2 groups (top group includes candidates endorsed by at least two board members, bottom group includes candidates with less than two endorsements)

May 25:
(~6 weeks pre-ISMB)
Closing date for Officers nominations.
June 13:
(last BoD teleconference
before ISMB in-person BoD Meeting)

Board of Directors votes on motion regarding eliminating nominees with less than two endorsements from consideration as candidates in the Board elections.

 

June 29:
(3 weeks pre-ISMB)
Closing date for Officers nominees' acceptance via submission of candidate statement.

July 11 - July 25:
(2 week election period; ends on last day of ISMB conf)

Online election ballot available to members for Officers; must be a current member of ISCB in order to vote in this election.

July 21
(pre-ISMB conf opening)

Election of new Directors (this is a closed session of the Board of Directors at the ISCB annual face-to-face Board Meeting during ISMB where current Directors vote on new Directors to fill open seats being vacated by outgoing Directors).

July 22:
(by end of ISMB conf)

Final results of new Board of Directors election announced during the ISCB Town Hall Meeting at ISMB scheduled for Monday, July 22.

August

1) Board of Directors must ratify Officer election results;

2) Officer election results announced via ISCB website.

October 10, 2019-
January 20, 2020:
(beginning with Oct BoD teleconference)

Training Period for new Directors and  Officer(s).

January 21, 2019:
(firm annual date)

New Directors and Officer(s) take office



2019
ISCB Members are encouraged to put forward nominees for Directors and the specific Officer positions up for election. In 2019 the Officer positions to be elected are President-elect and Vice President. (Looking ahead... in 2020 the elections will be for Secretary and Vice President) Nominations and elections will follow the schedule detailed in the Timeline above.

All successful candidates will take office on January 21 of the following year. Directors will serve three-year terms and Officers will serve three-year terms concurrently as Officers and Directors, followed by one additional year as Directors.

In order to be eligible to be an Officer candidate, a person must be an ISCB member in good standing, must have served as a Director for at least one (1) year at any time during the history of the Society leading up to the start date of becoming an Officer (first term Board members, therefore, meet the eligibility requirements for election to an Officer position), and must pledge to make every reasonable effort to attend the weekly Executive Committee teleconferences, the bi-monthly Board of Director teleconferences, and, at their own expense, the face-to-face Annual Board Meeting held in conjunction with the ISMB conference.

In order to be eligible to be a Director candidate, a person must be an ISCB member in good standing, and must pledge to make every reasonable effort to attend the bi-monthly Board of Director teleconference meetings, and, at their own expense, the face-to-face Annual Board Meeting held in conjunction with the ISMB conference.

The online nomination form requires the name, affiliation, and e-mail address of the person being nominated, along with an assurance that the indicated person meets the qualifications and is willing to stand for election for the position in question. This form also requests a few sentences of justification that makes the strongest case possible for the nominee.

CURRICULUM VITAE
Each candidate for office will complete an online questionnaire requesting the following. Especially important is the last question in which the candidate states his/her goals and objectives if elected to be an office holder of ISCB.

(Name) (Position Title) (Affiliation) (Address)
(E-mail Address) (Telephone) (Facsimile)
(Education: Institution and Location, Degree[s])
Year(s), Field(s) of Study)
(Previous Employment)
(Honors)
(Areas of research)
(Recent and Relevant Publications: Choose up to the 10 most recent or 10 best papers)
(Statement of Issues of Greatest Importance to ISCB)
(Statement of Personal Objectives for ISCB)

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION
To be nominated to be an ISCB Officer, a member should have been an ISCB board member in good standing in for at least one (1) year by the time of the start of the term for which the Officer is nominated. Director nominees may join the Society any time prior to election to meet the member in good standing requirement to qualify as a candidate. Given a collection of nominees, the Nominations Committee will evaluate the candidates and, from this evaluation, select a credentialed list for presentation to the Board of Directors for their review. The main criteria for this evaluation will be the following criteria:

  1. Evidence of willingness to carry out the responsibilities of the office. The quality of the statement regarding goals while in office will be heavily weighted in the decision.
  2. Diversification needs of the complete Board of Directors regarding geographic origin, gender, academic/industry affiliation.
  3. Status in the scientific community.
  4. Achievement of representation between relatively young researchers and senior scientists.

REVIEW OF THE BOARD NOMINEES BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Prior to the annual meeting of the Board of Directors, the set of Board nominees will be reviewed by the nominations committee for the purpose of ensuring that the nominees meet the qualifications. The nominee candidate statements will then be presented electronically to the Board of Directors for an endorsement period. Candidates receiving at least two endorsements from current board members will stand for board election.

ELECTRONIC VOTING BY MEMBERS FOR OFFICER CANDIDATES
Voting and announcement of results will take place following the schedule detailed in the Timeline above.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
General Powers
ISCB is registered in the United States as a 501c3 non-profit corporation. The property and business of the Corporation shall be managed under the direction of the Board of Directors of the Corporation.

Number and Term of Office
The number of Directors shall be not less than three (3) and not more than thirty (30). Directors must be current members of the Corporation. Directors terms begin on January 21 of the year following their election and each Director shall serve a term of three (3) years.

Regular Meetings
Regular meetings of the Board of Directors are held by conference call approximately every eight (8) weeks. The annual face-to-face meeting of the Board of Directors is held during the ISMB conference. All Directors are expected to participate in the bi-monthly conference calls and attend the in-person meeting during ISMB. Exceptions are made based on individual circumstances.

Special Meetings
Special meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held whenever called by any member of the Board of Directors. The Secretary or person appointed by the President shall give notice of each special meeting of the Board of Directors, by mailing the same at least three (3) days prior to the meeting or by e-mailing over the Internet the same at least two (2) days before the meeting, to each Director; but such notice may be waived by any Director. Unless otherwise indicated in the notice thereof, any and all business may be transacted at any special meetings.

Compensation of Directors
Directors shall not receive any stated salary for their services as such, but, at the discretion of unanimous approval by the Executive Committee, a fixed sum may be allowed for attendance at each regular or special meeting of the Board and such compensation shall be payable whether or not a meeting is adjourned because of the absence of a quorum. This sum may be disbursed to all Directors, or to individual Directors with extenuating circumstances regarding lack of institutional reimbursement of costs to attend each regular or special meeting. If the sum to any or all of the Directors exceeds $5000, it must be approved by majority vote of the Board.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (OFFICER) RESPONSIBILITIES
Powers and Duties of the President
The President shall be the chief executive officer of the Corporation and shall have general charge and control of all its business affairs and properties. He or she shall preside at all meetings of the members. The President may sign and execute all authorized bonds, contracts or other obligations in the name of the Corporation. The President shall have signature power and the authority to assign signature power to the Executive Officer and/or Vice Chair of Conferences to sign checks in amounts up to $5,000. All checks for amounts over $5,000 for costs not associated with contracts and expenses previously approved by the Board of Directors shall require approval of the Board of Directors and the signature of two officers or one officer and one Appointed Officer. The President shall have the general powers and duties of supervision and management usually vested in the office of president of a corporation. The President shall be ex-officio a member of all the Standing committees. He shall do and perform such other duties as may, from time to time, be assigned to him by the Board of Directors. In the event that the membership does not take affirmative action to fill the office of Chairman of the Board, the President shall assume and perform all powers and duties given to the Chairman of the Board by these By-Laws.

Powers and Duties of the President-elect
The President-elect may sign and execute all authorized bonds, contracts, or other obligations in the name of the Corporation. The President-elect shall have such other powers and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned to the President-elect by the Board of Directors or by the President. In case of the absence or disability of the President, the duties of that office shall be performed by the President-elect, and the taking of any action by the President-elect in place of the President shall be conclusive evidence of the absence or disability of the President.

Powers and Duties of the Vice President
The Board of Directors may appoint more than one Vice President. Any Vice President (unless otherwise provided by resolution of the Board of Directors) may sign and execute all authorized bonds, contracts, or other obligations in the name of the Corporation. Each Vice President shall have such other powers and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned to the Vice President by the Board of Directors or by the President. In case of the absence or disability of the President and President-elect, the duties of the office of President shall be performed by any Vice President, and the taking of any action by any such Vice President in place of the President shall be conclusive evidence of the absence or disability of the President.

Powers and Duties of the Secretary
The Secretary shall handle all voting matters, whether at actual meetings, telephonic meetings or meetings held on the Internet or other electronic media; he or she shall give, or cause to be given, notice of all meetings of members and Directors and all other notices required by law or by these By-Laws, and in case of his or her absence or refusal or neglect to do so, any such notice may be given by any person thereunto directed by the President, or by the Directors or members upon whose written request the meeting is called as provided in these By-Laws. The Secretary shall record all the proceedings of the meetings of the members and of the Directors in books provided for that purpose, and he or she shall perform such other duties as may be assigned to him or her by the Directors or the President. He or she shall have custody of the seal of the Corporation and shall affix the same to all instruments requiring it, when authorized by the Board of Directors or the President, and attest the same. In general, the Secretary shall perform all the duties generally incident to the office of Secretary, subject to the control of the Board of Directors and the President.

Powers and Duties of the Treasurer
The Treasurer shall oversee the Executive Officer’s and/or Vice Chair of Conferences’ custody of all the funds and securities of the Corporation, and he or she shall oversee the Executive Officer’s and/or Vice Chair of Conferences’ full and accurate account of receipts and disbursements in books belonging to the Corporation. The Treasurer shall oversee the Appointed Officers’ deposit of all moneys and other valuables in the name and to the credit of the Corporation in such depository or depositories as may be designated by the Board of Directors. He or she shall have the power to sign checks under his or her signature in amounts up to $5,000. All checks for amounts over $5,000 shall require the signature of two officers or one officer and one Appointed Officer. The Treasurer shall oversee the Appointed Officers’ disbursement of the funds of the Corporation as may be ordered by the Board of Directors and may require the Appointed Officers to make proper vouchers for such disbursements. The Treasurer shall render to the President and the Board of Directors, whenever either of them so requests, an account of all of the Appointed Officers’ transactions and of the financial condition of the Corporation. The Treasurer shall give the Corporation a bond, if required by the Board of Directors, in a sum, and with one or more sureties, satisfactory to the Board or Directors, for the faithful performance of the duties of his or her office and for the restoration to the Corporation in case of his or her death, resignation, retirement or removal from office of all books, papers, vouchers, moneys, and other properties of whatever kind in his or her possession or under his or her control belonging to the Corporation. The Treasurer shall perform all the duties generally incident to the office of the Treasurer, subject to the control of the Board of Directors and the President.

TRAINING PERIOD
The newly elected Board Directors will be invited to participate in the bi-monthly Board of Directors teleconferences from through the start of their term in January. The newly elected Officer(s) will be invited to participate in the weekly Executive Committee teleconferences through the start of their term in January, as well as the bi-monthly Board of Directors teleconferences.

The newly elected Student Council Leaders will be invited to immediately begin involvement in online discussions and upcoming activities of the Student Council.

Thus, upon taking office on January 21, the new elected Student Council Leaders, Board Directors and Officers would have had up to a 3-month training period.

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Revised Software Sharing Policy Statement Approved by the ISCB board of Directors on February 14, 2008

Preamble

This software sharing statement is intended to address the ability of the scientific community to reproduce and build on research findings reported in scientific publications or generated with public funds. ISCB recognizes the value of commercial bioinformatics software. With respect to commercial software and scientific publications, we support the recommendations of the NAS report.

I. Introduction
Bioinformatics software availability is extremely important to the field of bioinformatics. The International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) is committed to the advancement of the understanding of living systems through computation. In support of that mission, we believe that research results should be shared with the scientific community so that they can be reproduced and built upon. Scientific research may include the development of software and algorithms. Therefore, ISCB is disseminating this statement to make recommendations on software availability policies for funders of bioinformatics research, for scientific journals that publish bioinformatics research, for bioinformatics researchers, and for their employers.

This statement has been revised from the original 2002 statement, incorporating feedback from the ISCB membership.

II. Recommendations

  1. Publishers, granting organizations, employers and researchers have a responsibility to uphold the core principle of sharing methods and results. If a researcher's software is necessary to understand, reproduce and build on scientific results, then the software should be made available. This principle is imperative for peer-reviewed scientific publications, recommended policy for granting agencies, and encouraged practice wherever individuals and organizations are committed to advancing science. ISCB supports the recommendations of the National Academies of Sciences report, "Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials: Responsibilities of Authorship in the Life Sciences."
  2. Grantors and publishers should require statements of software availability in grant proposals and research reports. These statements should clearly describe how to obtain the software, and terms of use. The statements should be specific about cost, source code availability, redistribution rights (including for derived works), user support, and any discrimination among user types. The nature of software distribution is an appropriate criterion for consideration in the review of manuscripts and grant proposals, to assess the significance and impact the work is likely to have. Authors of statements of availability should be held accountable by journals, granting agencies and employers for delivering on their software's promised availability. The rights granted to the software user should be irrevocable.
  3. No single licensing or distribution model is appropriate for all research projects, and therefore no single model should be mandated by either publishers or grantors.
  4. Individuals, institutions, and businesses engaged in research in computational biology should recognize the primacy of dissemination and further research and choose licenses accordingly.

III. Implementation when software sharing is warranted

  1. In most cases, it is preferable to make source code available.We recommend that executable versions of the software should be made available for research use.
  2. Open source licenses are one effective way to share software. For more information, see the definition of open source, and example licenses, at www.opensource.org.

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US Visa Survey and Results

In January 2008 ISCB embarked upon a first step investigation of the issue surrounding difficulties of our non-US citizen/permanent resident members in obtaining visas to enter the US, whether arriving from another country to participate in a scientific meetings and research, or when reentering the country after leaving to do the same elsewhere. A letter sent via email to all members can be read it its entirety here. Approximately 50 responses were received within just four days of sending the mail. The following summarizes the questions asked by ISCB and responses received from our members.

What we asked:
1. Are you experiencing delays getting visas or outright rejections of your applications?
2. Are you seeing this problem from particular countries of citizenship?
3. Specifically, what problems are you experiencing (i.e., difficulty getting consular appointments; delays in application processing; denial of visas; problems with US-VISIT system)?
4. For each problem, is it due to not following or understanding the existing visa application guidelines and restrictions (such as not applying far enough ahead of time, failing to schedule a consular interview, providing incomplete applications, country-specific single entry reciprocity agreements), or is the problem a failure of the U.S. immigration system to follow its own policies?
5. What change, if any, do you feel we ought to advocate?

Summary of problems reported:
1. Many people thanked us for doing this survey and carrying out the advocacy.
(See details below.)
2. Some respondents requested anonymity and were afraid that they would be at risk from speaking out.
3. Many researchers reported they now avoid coming to the US even if they can due to past personal experience or the experiences of colleagues.
4. Many foreign researchers residing in the US avoid attending meetings outside the US and can't easily visit family in their home countries for fear of difficulties and delays reentering the country.
5. Some speakers at conferences are no-shows due to visa problems.
6. Some reported a loss of money spent on airfare, hotel, and/or conference registration when visas did not come through.
7. It appears consular officials do not understand the science enough to make good decisions about security risks; incorrect assessments are made.
8. TAL security clearance causes repeated problems and delays, often resulting in missing the opportunity for attending a conference or research appointment. This is triggered by certain key words like "molecular biology" being considered high risk. In at least one case, outright rejection of the application was experienced with language suggesting the applicant was a potential spy or saboteur.
9. Several members encountered difficulty scheduling visa interviews, and/or had long waits of several weeks once scheduled.

  • Obtaining a visa is an unnecessarily lengthy, time-consuming and costly process.
  • Delays can and have caused lost salary and negatively impact the employing organization; jobs can be in danger.
10. 221(e) problems: have to stay out of the US for 2 years. ("OPT period")
11. Currently it is not possible to extend the J-1 visa from within the US, which poses the problems noted in #9 above for US based foreign researchers.
12. Specific reports of unnecessarily bad treatment at entry to US included the following:

  • locked away for 24 hours with no drink; passport taken away; sent back to country of departure
  • handcuffed, shackled, bruised, forcibly fingerprinted despite not needing a visa to travel - Canadian citizenship, born in Iran
13. Denial of visa for scientist due to "lack of social ties" to country of residence, despite clear evidence of scientific employment there.
14. Reports of delays despite all documents being in order.
15. Passports held for weeks by consulate, making it impossible to travel or obtain other visas during that time.
16. Perceived arrogance and rude attitude of visa and immigration officials.
17. Because Europeans have to get a US visa for each visit, which discourages travel.
18. Requirement of IRS issued ITIN caused difficulty with ID check for a Canadian member.
19. Inability to transit through the US during travel between two other countries (transit visas are now necessary for all landings in the US) without going through the visa application and interview process.
20. Some members felt the length of time a visa is valid is too short and inconsistent between countries.

Nationalities of respondents:
Africa (unspecified country), Austria , Cameroon, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Pakistan, Europe (unspecified country), Germany, India, Iran, Nigeria, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Thailand, The Netherlands, UK, USA

Recommendations from respondents:
  • US lawmakers, consulate and immigration
    • Make it easier for non-US citizens living in the US to leave for a short time for meetings or visits home.
    • Make it possible to extend the J-1 from within the US.
    • Make visas valid for a longer time.
    • Remove the 2-year 221(e) restriction.
    • Simplify mechanism to receive multi-entry visa.
    • Reduce turnaround time for visas.
    • Treat visitors with respect and not rudeness.
    • Perform the necessary MANTIS searches before the consular appointments.
    • Provide information in writing about reasons for delays and estimated time to deal with them. Have a clear process with fixed (even if longer) timelines
  • Professional societies and conference organizers
    • Educate embassy decision-makers about our field not being a security risk.
    • Give scientists advice about how to explain what they do without triggering the security alert, or in such a way as to make it clear that they are not a security risk.
    • Notify submitters to conferences earlier of acceptances.
    • Give full refunds to attendees not able to make it due to visa problem.
    • Lobby government for changes listed above.
    • Provide direct help to conference attendees in processing their visas, including explaining what documents are necessary.

Appreciation expressed by respondents:
  • “I would also take this opportunity to thank ISCB for doing this for us. People have been discussing this for years in journals like Science or Nature. However, this is the first time that I've been reached from someone who really wants to do something for us. Thank you very much!!!” (China)
  • “Thank you again for your initiative, by the way this made me to join ISCB, which I never did through many years!” (Russia)
  • “I am very pleased you are doing this survey as we have been very negatively affected by this very problem.” (US researcher employing Indian computational biologist)
  • “Thank you for the opportunity given me to give input in this issue.” (Cameroon)
  • “I am glad to be able to make this contribution. I hope it does help.” (Cameroon)
  • “Once more time thank you very much for your cooperation.” (Russia)
  • “Thanks for this opportunity.” (Cameroon)
  • “Thanks for your efforts!” (Canada)
  • “Thanks for taking this on.” (USA)
  • “Thank you for your time and letting me share my experience.” (Singapore)
  • “I appreciate very much your attempts in tackling this problem. In fact, because of this, I've been prevented from attending the ISCB conference last July.” (China)
  • “Hope this helps!” (Czech)
  • “Thanks.” (China)
  • “I hope that my answers are going to be useful for you.” (Serbia)
  • “I would like to thank you all for your willingness to look into a problem that we foreign scientists have been facing, especially since the unfortunate events of 9/11. ... Once again, I thank you for bringing this issue out in the open. This is certainly an effort that will go a long way in enriching the visa experiences of many researchers seeking USA for their higher studies and career opportunities.” (India)
  • “Thank you very much for your effort!” (China)
  • “I really appreciate your time and effort. Best wishes to you and ISCB for the success on the advocation!” (China)
  • “Appreciate the effort.” (Netherlands)
  • “Thank you for this opportunity to discuss US visa problems.” (Russia)
  • “First of all I would like to express my deepest appreciation for the initiative to help us with US visa problem. In our case this problem noticeably affects our research and results exchange.” (Russia)

Other important comments:
  • “Please, keep this correspondence as anonymous note since I don’t want to have extra trouble in future.” (Russia)
  • “Please do not make my case public, this has already caused some damage to my career.” (born in Iran)
  • “I had faced such a humiliating disappointment...” (Nigeria)

TOP | US Visa Survey page

posted 5/21/2002

ISCB Statement on Bioinformatics Software Availability (This statement has been revised.  Please click here for current statement.)

I. Introduction
Conditions of bioinformatics software availability are extremely important to the field of bioinformatics. The ISCB, a professional society of 1300 bioinformatics scientists, has discerned significant confusion in recent months regarding the topic of software availability, and is disseminating this statement to clarify several issues regarding software availability, and to make recommendations on software availability policies for government agencies that fund bioinformatics research.

II. Recommendations

  1. The term “open source” has taken on many different meanings. This term creates confusion in discussions of software availability; therefore the term should be carefully qualified to indicate which variation of the open-source model is intended.
  2. Government agencies that fund bioinformatics research should NOT REQUIRE that software produced with government research funds must be distributed under open-source license (particularly given the ambiguity in the meaning of that term). Because of the complexity inherent in software, no single distribution model is appropriate for all research projects. Government agencies should require clear statements of software availability in grant proposals.
  3. As reviewers of bioinformatics grant applications, ISCB scientists have noted that these applications often contain confusing or unclear statements regarding the availability of software that will be developed under government grant funds. This statement contains several definitions of software availability that ISCB recommends for use in bioinformatics grant applications. ISCB recommends one of those definitions as a minimal requirement of software availability that funding agencies should require.

III. ISCB Levels of Software Availability
The International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) provides the following definitions of software availability. It is ISCB’s intent that these definitions be a standard reference. It is recommended that all software availability be defined in these terms (or specific stated variations thereof) and stated in all publications, grant applications, and other documents that describe software availability.

ISCB recommends that government funding agencies that support bioinformatics research, require a minimum of ISCB Level 0 Availability.

The levels of availability listed here are not meant to be exhaustive. Researchers may want to define variations to these levels, but ISCB strongly suggests that at least Level 0f Availability be maintained.

For all levels of availability, the licensee must clearly acknowledge the contributions of the author(s) of the original software in all redistributions.

ISCB Level 0 Availability:

a. For Research Use: The software will be available free of charge, in binary form, on an “as is” basis for research purposes to educational institutions, non-profit research institutes, government research laboratories, and individuals, for non-exclusive use, without the right of the licensee to further redistribute the software.

b. For Commercial Use: The software will be available in binary form, on an “as is” basis to commercial institutions, possibly for a fee, for non-exclusive use, without the right of the licensee to redistribute the software.

ISCB Level 1 Availability (“No fee”):
The software will be available free of charge to all institutions, in binary form, on an “as is basis”, for non-exclusive use, without the right of the licensee to further redistribute the software.

ISCB Level 2 Availability (“No fee, source code for research use”):
Same as ISCB Level 1; in addition, source code is available for research use to educational institutions, non-profit research institutes, government research laboratories, and individuals, without the right to redistribute the source code.

ISCB Level 3 Availability (“No fee, source code to all”):
Same as ISCB Level 1; in addition, source code is available to commercial institutions.

ISCB Level 4 Availability (“No fee, unlimited redistribution, with source code”):
The software will be available free of charge to all institutions and individuals, in binary and source-code forms, on an “as is” basis, for non-exclusive use. The licensee may redistribute and/or resell the original software including the source code, and may redistribute and/or resell any modifications or derivative works created by the licensee. The licensee must clearly acknowledge the contributions of the author(s) of the original software in all redistributions.

The statements contained in this site do not constitute, and should not be construed as, giving legal advice. Nothing in this site is intended to constitute the giving of legal advice. The reader should consult with counsel before pursuing a course of action in reliance on information contained in this site.

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Conflict of Interest ToolKit

FASEB's “Conflict of Interest Toolkit” website provides several new tools and resources, including information regarding teaching trainees about conflict of interest issues and a resource document for association conflict of interest policies. To access the toolkit please click here.

Return to FASEB

Exclusively for members

  • Member Discount

    ISCB Members enjoy discounts on conference registration (up to $150), journal subscriptions, book (25% off), and job center postings (free).

  • Why Belong

    Connecting, Collaborating, Training, the Lifeblood of Science. ISCB, the professional society for computational biology!

     

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