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PLoS Computational Biology: Ten Simple Rules for Organizing a Virtual Conference—Anywhere
Submitted by J.W. Bizzaro; posted on Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Submitter The following editorial has been published about the First African Virtual Conference on Bioinformatics 2009 (AFBIX09), organized by Bioinformatics.Org and several ISCBSC RSGs in Africa:

``The aim was to provide students and scientists in the bioinformatics and computational biology fields a chance to network through a unique platform conceptualized as `hubs.' These hubs then gave participants the opportunity to foster both physical and virtual interactions as well as develop collaborations, irrespective of geographical location.

``Virtual conferencing may prove to be an effective low-cost strategy for conveying bioinformatics and computational biology education to African scientists who otherwise would be deprived of the opportunity. Unlike conventional conferences, virtual conferencing permits the involvement of a greater number of participants who would otherwise be unable to participate in events of this breadth owing to (1) limited travel fellowships, if any; (2) lack of time to travel to distant conference locations; and (3) insufficient accommodation and subsistence funds. These factors apply in general to the post-/undergraduate student community and especially to the target audiences that reside in developing countries. Minimizing the requirement to travel also means that the availability of invited speakers is greatly increased, improving the chances of attracting highly relevant and high-impact presenters.''


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