Packaging Biocomputing Software to Maximize Distribution and Reuse

The majority of accepted papers in computational biology and biocomputing describe new software approaches to relevant biological problems. While journals and conferences often require the availability of software and source code, there are limited resources available to maximize the distribution and use of developed software within the scientific community. The accepted standard is to make source code available for new approaches in published work, the growing problem of system configuration issues, language, library version conflicts, and other implementation issues often impede the broad distribution, availability of software tools, and reproducibility of research. There are a variety of solutions to these implementation issues, but the learning curve for applying these solutions is steep. This tutorial demonstrates tools and approaches for packaging and distribution of published code, and provides methodological practices for the broad and open sharing of new biocomputing software.