Bay Area Bioinformatics Forum Message Board › Bay Area Bioinformatics Forum Blogging Policy
This statement is available in Word format.
Policy Statement v 1.0
Information wants to be free. The purpose of the Bay Area Bioinformatics Forum (BayBIFX) is dissemination of information. Therefore by default, no restrictions are put on the dissemination of any information presented at BayBIFX meetings. This policy may be modified according to the preference of the presenters and organizers as specified below. At the same time, it is important for all participants in BayBIFX meetings to be respectful of other participants and their personal choices regarding dissemination of information about them, their ideas and their work.
Types of media explicitly permitted
1. Blogging and microblogging via sites like Blogger and Twitter
2. Group discussions via forums such as FriendFeed and the BayBIFX discussion forums
3. Video and audio broadcasting via sites like YouTube
4. Photography and picture sharing via sites like Flikr and the BayBIFX web site
Types of media explicitly prohibited
Guidelines for Presenters
Presenters should keep in mind that the purpose of the Bay Area Bioinformatics Forum is dissemination of information. Attendees will naturally spread new knowledge, online or offline. Therefore, presenters should assume that a meeting is open, unless they have explicitly asked the organizers in advance to keep it closed. It is the nature of information to spread, so if presenters wish to put limits on the ways in which the information they present can be distributed, it is both their responsibility and prudent practice to make this explicit at the outset. To this end, presenters should review the guidelines below to ensure they are not surprised when they arrive to give their talk.
1. Become familiar with the BayBIFX policies ahead of time.
2. For invited presenters (1 hour quarterly talks or 30 minute talks): If you wish to restrict the dissemination of information about your talk in any way then you should announce your intentions in advance to the forum organizer. Your wishes will then be explicitly stated on the meeting announcements.
3. For all presenters (1 hour quarterly talks , 30 minute talks or lightning talks): If you wish to be more or less restrictive than the BayBIFX policy itself, announce this at the start of your presentation. One way of doing this is through the use of logos such as those proposed by Cameron Neylon to indicate which forms of media are appropriate.
Guidelines for Bloggers
A blogger at BayBIFX meetings has a responsibility to follow the policies set out by this document. The following list of guidelines for conference blogging has been developed to codify efforts that have to date been largely self-imposed, but is not an attempt to legislate the behavior of bloggers at conferences. Bloggers can use these guidelines as aids in determining what limits they wish to impose on themselves.
1. Become familiar with the BayBIFX policies ahead of time
2. BayBIFX meetings provide a medium for both formally announcing work and informally discussing new findings. You might want to have the scientific information available for everyone, but the level of media coverage is the organizers' and speakers' decision to make. When in doubt, approach the organizers beforehand and ask for permission and clarification of their policy.
3. In general, non-public contact information for any BayBIFX participants should not be posted to any public forum without their explicit permission. When in doubt, ask the participant for permission to post such details first.
4. Identify yourself. Consider using your full name or a name that can be linked back to you. Attribution allows others to know who provided notes and commentary.
5. Make a clear separation between personal opinions, questions, and the presentation transcript. If you are covering a talk, readers will expect that most of the text is a transcript of the presentation. Therefore, bloggers should identify any personal comments. Careful consideration should be given to the suitability of blogging personal opinions and remarks that can be picked up during the course of a conference. While we do not suggest a standard way of marking personal comments, microbloggers at ISMB 2009 used simple brackets. Comment indicators from common programming languages (such as “//” or “#”) are also quick and clear. Questions to the presenter from remote or local attendees can be distinguished from the presentation transcript by, for example, prefixing them with a short tag such as “#?.”
6. Focus on the presentation and the science. Disrespect towards the speaker is never appropriate. However, polite criticism on the presented work is appropriate in live blogging and may even stimulate discussions that last beyond the presentation itself. References to related work may prove particularly useful.
7. Use the delete function wisely. It may take a few minutes at the beginning of a well-attended presentation, such as a keynote or plenary talk, to judge how many microbloggers are present. As such, initial comments may be redundant. However, deletion or extensive editing long after the conference violates expectations of timeliness and cooperation.
8. Declare conflicts of interest. If you think that you have a possible bias or conflict of interest, it is polite to make that information available. One possible bias might be a blogger's coverage of a talk by a colleague or friend. Conflicts of interest might exist if a blogger performs research similar to the presenter's.
9. Identify speakers wherever possible. If the presenter is asked questions or if attendees make comments, when capturing those statements it is useful to add the name of person speaking.
10. Ask before blogging on informal conversations. BayBIFX meetings provide a medium for both formally announcing work and informally discussing new findings. Careful consideration should be given to the suitability of blogging personal opinions and remarks that can be picked up during the course of a conference.
Guidelines for Meeting Organizers
A meeting organizer for BayBIFX meetings has a responsibility to inform participants of the policies according to the guidelines below.
1. Become familiar with the BayBIFX policies ahead of time.
2. Post a link to this policy document in the main meeting announcement on the BayBIFX web site.
3. If any exceptions to the policy are requested by the presenter, then these exceptions will be posted in the main meeting announcement on the BayBIFX web site.
4. At the beginning of each meeting remind all participants that the policy is posted on the web site.
Large portions of this policy were copied or paraphrased from the following article: http://www.ploscompbiol.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000563
End Policy Statement
Any questions, comments, suggestions, additions, etc. on this blog policy statement are welcome in the comments below.
Edited by Doug Hershberger on Mar 30, 2010 5:41 AM