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Draft competition 3

Help us build up a collection of developer-oriented tutorials about SBML to be made available on Currently, there are no such tutorials available, yet there is a clear need for explanations of SBML details in a form more accessible than the SBML specification documents. The purpose of this competition is to jump-start the creation of this tutorial collection.

All submissions will be considered for inclusion on, with credit given to the author(s). In addition, the winners of this competition will also receive prizes. Submissions must be received by May 12.

Here are the specifics about what to submit:

  • Keep in mind that the eventual collection of tutorials will be a web page with various topic headings on it, and then for each heading, a list of subtopics, each with links to tutorials. Therefore, tutorials should be modular and focused on technical aspects of SBML, rather than general "what is SBML" type tutorials.
  • A given tutorial should focus on a single aspect of SBML. It can get right to the point; it does not have to begin with an introduction about what SBML is.
  • The most basic tutorial would be a collection of presentation slides with onscreen notes. Optionally, for extra points, we welcome screencasts (if appropriate in the context) and audio commentary (in English, with good audio quality).
  • Do not bother styling your slides beyond basic text formatting (bold, typewriter font, etc.) and level/sublevel organization, because we will import the slides into a common set of slide format templates. Note, however, that we will not have time to do wholesale slide editing, so do be careful about the quality of your writing (and your spoken commentary, if there is one) – your tutorial will very likely be made public on, so keep that in mind.
  • Please use one of the following formats: Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, Google Docs Presentation, or OpenOffice/NeoOffice/LibreOffice Impress.

Submit your tutorial(s) via email to (To prevent mail server errors, do not include more than 10 MB of attachments in any given email message; instead, use an online facility to store your files, then email a link.)

Scoring will be performed as follows. Each tutorial will be scored on the following characteristics and given the points indicated. The points will be added for each tutorial to produce an overall total score for the tutorial:

  • Content
    • 2 points: the presentation clearly explains an element of SBML or a substantive aspect of using SBML
    • 3 points: there is a mathematical explanation of the use of the element (where appropriate)
    • 3 points: there is pseudocode that illustrates the use of the element (where appropriate)
  • Presentation
    • 10 points: a screencast is included
    • 20 points: audio commentary is included
  • Bonus
    • 30 points: clearest explanation of all tutorials submitted to the context
    • 50 points: tutorial explains how to handle one of the following:
      • multiple compartments, with compartment sizes ≠ 1
      • the hasOnlySubstanceUnits attribute on species objects
      • fast reactions
      • event priorities
      • algebraic rules
      • delay differential equations
      • variable stoichiometry

It is possible for a submission to get 0 points if it is judged to be of low quality, irrelevant, wrong, or otherwise unsuitable. (Hopefully, that won't happen, but we still need to say it.)

The tutorials will be judged anonymously (so do not put your name on the actual slides!). The judging will be performed by the SBML Team, the SBML Editors, and two individuals (to be named) who are not deeply familiar with SBML. Linda will anonymize the tutorials before passing them to the judges.

The following prizes are available for different point levels:

  • 50 points or more: An SBML T-shirt in the size of your choice.
  • 125 points or more: The T-shirt plus US$ 200 of travel support to HARMONY 2012.
  • Highest number of points: The T-shirt and travel support, plus a gift certificate for US$ 100 at

A maximum of three (3) awards of travel support will be made. If more than three individuals or group garner 125 points or more, we will select the three awardees based on precedence: those submitted chronologically earliest will win.

All decisions will be final.

Please use our issue tracking system for any questions or suggestions about this website. This page was last modified 14:31, 28 March 2012.