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Home page for PhyloStars project, which aims to develop a socially networked online community of practice for evolutionary applications of bioinformatics.

Important notice

As of January, 2014, we have closed this project. We were unable to pull together the resources (mostly volunteer time) to carry off the kind of community engagement strategy that we thought was necessary to make the project a success.

However, we still think it's a good idea. We would be happy to share our plans and experience with anyone else who wants to pick up on the project.


We propose to engage the evolution community with a participant-driven meeting aimed at (1) developing and disseminating topical bioinformatics solutions that serve recognized needs of researchers, and (2) developing the capacity to meet this ongoing need in a self-sustaining way, via an online, global, socially networked community-of-practice. We have pledges of support for this project from SMBE and BioSynC.

The main platform for this PhyloStars community (hashtag #phylostars) will be, an existing bioinformatics Q & A site. The developer of BioStars, Istvan Albert, has joined our organizing team.

The main features of the plan (as currently developed) are as follows

  • advertise to stakeholders our plan to leverage BioStars to create an online community that shares phyloinformatics solutions.
  • encourage stakeholders to join the community and build up status points
  • sponsor a burst of activity at a 4-day face-to-face meeting
  • track usage statistics (users, questions, answers) throughout the process
  • follow up with a workshop at an international meeting

Current news and announcements

  • Meeting is scheduled tentatively for late March or for April.
  • Are you interested in helping make this project a success? We are still seeking more organizers, particularly people who have experience using Q&A sites such as BioStars. The other organizers include Julie Allen, Michael Rosenberg, Brian Sidlauskas, Arlin Stoltzfus (PI), Rutger Vos, and Mark Westneat (PI). We discuss our plans regularly with Istvan Albert, the developer of BioStars.

Links to Resources