Biostar: Software for building Scientific Communities

BioStar is a Python and Django based Q&A software licensed under the MIT Open Source License. It is a simple, generic, flexible and extensible Q&A framework.

The site has been developed by scientists and for scientists. It aims to address requirements and needs that scientific communities have.

Biostar is the software that runs several science oriented Q&A sites:


The site has been developed by scientists for scientists. It aims to address specific needs that scientific communities have.

  • Standard Q&A: post questions, answers, comments, user moderation, voting, badges, threaded discussions
  • Email integration: import previous posts from mailing lists, reply to posts via email
  • RSS Planet: feed aggregation from different sources
  • External authentication: authenticate users with a different web service


The software is open source and free to use under the most permissible license.

The developers of the software are also available to provide commercial level support for deploying Biostar sites for entire organizations. Contact:

Requirements: Python 2.7

Official documentation is located at

Quick Start

From the biostar source directory:

# Install the requirements.
pip install --upgrade -r conf/requirements/base.txt

# Load the environment variables.
source conf/defaults.env

# Initialize database, import test data, and run the site.
./ init import index run

Visit http://localhost:8080 to see the site loaded with default settings. Enjoy.

For more information see the documentation below:

Indices and tables