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Biostar: Software for building Scientific Communities

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Detailed documentation:

BioStar is a Python and Django based Q&A software. 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 the requirements and needs that scientific communities have.

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


  • 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
  • Low resource utilization and easy deployment. Host an entire domain, the database, and all related background jobs and serve millions of page views per month on a computer with just 4GB of RAM.


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


The documentation is maintained at:

The source for the documentation can be found in the docs folder.

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, index for searching and run the server.
./ init import index run

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


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