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Biostar: Building Scientific Communities

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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 used to run several science oriented Q&A sites:

The software is open source and free to use under the MIT License.


  • Q&A: questions, answers, comments, user moderation, voting, reputation, badges, threaded discussions
  • RSS Planet: feed aggregation from different sources
  • External authentication: authenticate users with a different web service
  • Email integration: import previous posts from mailing lists
  • Low resource utilization and easy deployment.

Requirements: Python 2.7


The documentation:

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

# Initialize database, import test data, index for searching and run the server.
./ init import index run

Visit to see the site loaded with demo data.

The domain resolves to your local host with a proper domain name. You may just as well use http://localhost:8080 or

In the demo site the user emails are built from the database ids like so:, The demo user passwords are identical to the emails and you may use these to log into your test site as any of the users.

The user with the email has staff level permissions and can also access the admin interface at



Biostar versions and upgrade path:


We may be able to provide support for organizations or institutions. For more information contact



List of contributors: