Melbourne Science Hackfest

Competition Rules

The Hackfest  is the Official Melbourne Science HackFest competition submission site and allows you to submit all components required for your team’s Melbourne Science HackFest entry.   Note: submission elements and times are system controlled so no extensions are available! Teams are required to submit the following as part of their competition entry on The Hackfest :

  • Register all Team members in the Hackfest and select “Melbourne Science Hackfest” to enter the challenge. (If your team win we can only recognise registered team members).

  • Taking part in hackfest: Any participant can enter the challenge by registering at the competition official website which is hosted at the Hackfest. Participant can create a project in the Hackfest by providing  details about your project, what data sets will be used, link to source code and any information.  The project page must include your Project Description Data Story.  This is a short description that describes how data has been reused and what your project is about. Participants need to use at least one significant dataset from the data providers listed in the website Submit an image that best captures your concept e.g a logo or Image. If you win an award this is what we will use to describe your project.

  • Outcomes from the project itself (any code, graphics, mashups, applications, website URLs, photos of each  stage to create your artistic representation etc) which must all be made available under an open source/content licence to be eligible for prizes. If judges are able to see and play with it that is useful, but this is a minor component of the judging. Teams can put the code/source on GitHub, Sourceforge or an equivalent repository system and must make the URL available on their project page for verification. For artistic works you may need to create a photo library or share a link to a Google Doc that contains evidence of the stages of your project. All the links should be provided in  the Hackfest project page. Project need to be submitted before the end of the hackfest to be eligible for evaluation and prize.

  • Data reused – On your project page you are required to record any data used. This is especially required if the prize categories entered have a data usage requirement for eligibility. Help make judges life easy and add the link to the data.

  • Presentation (maximum 2 minutes) All participating team should present your work to the judges at the end of the hackfest. This will happen between 2:30pm to 4 PM on 6th of March 2016. The presentation of work is a prerequisite to be eligible for prize.  

Time frames to register and submit:

  • Friday 4th of March 2016 7 PM ADEST – The hackfest will be open and prize categories are announced

  • Saturday 5th of March 2016 3 pm Saturday ADEST - A Team Project Page with project details must be completed in  the Hackfest. Record all your team members on your project page and the URL to your proof of concept repository.  No new projects pages can be created after this time.  You are still able to edit your project page after this time. Mentors and judges will be available to answer any questions.

  • Sunday 6th of March 2016 2pm Sunday ADEST  –  You MUST have all parts of your competition entry finalised by 2pm AEST and submit a project which includes

    • your team page

    • your data story description and detail of data sets used

    • your Project outcomes (demo’s, code, graphics, photos submitted

Project must be submitted before the deadline to be eligible for evaluation and prize. Any project not submitted will not be considered for the prizes.

  • Sunday 6th of March 2016 2:30 pm AEDT  – The presentation of your work to be presented to the judges. This is a prerequisite to be eligible for prize.



All prizes you can compete for will be announced on 11th of March 2016 and emailed to all competitors.  Judge Chair, Dr Jens Klump will announce winners. It will also be announced on the event website and twitter feed. Teams are eligible for some great prizes, including:


Award Amount  

Best Science Hack (Sponsored by CSIRO)


Best Science Hack (runner up), Sponsored by TERN


People’s choice (Sponsored by ANDS)


Best use of scientific computing infrastructure (Sponsored by ANDS)



You must nominate which prizes you are competing for on  the Hackfest project page.

People’s Choice Award

The Hackfest participants will have the opportunity to choose a “People’s Choice Award” winner by voting for a best project in the hackfest other than their own project. The “People’s Choice Award” will be  given to a project with highest number of votes from the Hackfest participants. Only registered team members can vote so make sure all your team members are registered on your project page. The voting will start on Sunday (6th of March)  afternoon and finish shortly after the presentation of the projects. The winner will be announced at the end of the hackfest. Participants cannot vote for their own project.

Judging Criteria

Teams are required to submit the following as part of their competition entry:

All Melbourne Science Hackfest entries will be judged by the Melbourne Science Hackfest Competition Judging Panel against the following criteria:

  • Originality

  • The relevance to the team nominated category definition

  • Specific prize eligibility criteria detailed (if any) e.g. data use, infrastructure use

  • Consistency with contest purposes including social value

  • Quality and design (including standards compliance)

  • Usability (including documentation and ease of use)


The Melbourne Science Hackfest competition judges will choose all winners. The judging panel for prizes will be formed before the hackfest.  All Submissions must be made through your project page in the Hackfest. No requests for extensions will be considered. Final arbiter is the judging panel whose decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into after the announcement. This is a competition of skill. Chance plays no part in this competition. Judges are not eligible to compete for prizes.


Winners and Awards

Each winning team must nominate one person to liaise with and provide their details to Melbourne Science Hackfest organisers following prize announcements to coordinate distribution of prizes after the event and prize money must be evenly split between all team members of winning teams. If all members of your team are under 18 then please nominate a guardian or the Local Event Organisers who will facilitate the purchase of vouchers to be split winnings among the team.

Prizes will be announced after the event on 11th of March 2016 via the website, twitter and all the participant team will be informed.


You will find the list of Official data available for the Melbourne Science Hackfest competition at You must use at least one Official data set as a significant component of your project to be eligible for prizes. Check the eligibility requirements of the Melbourne Science Hackfest Prizes to see if you need to use a specific data set or data from a specific Data Publisher or Data Portal for the prize category you want to enter. To maximize your chances to win we recommend you mash-up more than one official data source.

Some data sets listed on data portals may have additional resources available with further information on how to use the data or other supporting material. You are encouraged to download and use these resources. If you have questions about a data set let a crew member know and we will try to find a data mentor for you or post the question on the Hackfest forum.

Competition goals require that entries must use at least one of the data sets provided for this contest, but you are free to use data from the official Melbourne Science Hackfest list or other data sets as long as their licensing terms permit usage for this purpose. You may also use any publicly accessible web services as long as it does not incur a financial cost to use (private and subscription APIs are prohibited due to licensing issues and barrier to entry).


To be eligible for prizes, individual entrants must be either an Australian citizen or a current Australian resident (this includes temporary student residents).  For team entrants, at least one member of the team must be an Australian citizen or a current Australian resident (this includes temporary student residents). It’s only fair – it is an Australian Melbourne Science Hackfest competition after all. At least one team member must be over 18 (Or a guardian must be registered as the Representative to facilitate prizes). Since this is a physical hackathon, all the participants must present at the venue all the time and any virtual participants are not allowed.

Judges expect entries to be primarily developed throughout the weekend of Melbourne Science Hackfest. If submissions are shown to have been worked on before the weekend, the submission will be ineligible for prizes. This does not include reuse or extension of existing software, libraries or data sets. Entrants may be members of multiple teams but each team must be registered separately and each team has one entry. There is no maximum team size.

No judges will be eligible to compete for prizes, and individuals from organisations or companies are also not eligible for prizes sponsored by their organisation. Mentors/speakers are eligible to compete for prizes, but judges reserve the right to disqualify a mentor/speaker if they perceive unfairness.

Nature of Submission

Don’t do bad things. This contest has been designed to demonstrate the benefit of open access to science data and computational infrastructure. Please participate in and engage with the contest in that spirit and in good faith. You must not include submissions that are:

  • potentially false, defamatory, privacy invasive or overtly political;

  • material which is potentially confidential, commercially sensitive, or which would cause personal distress or loss;

  • any commercial endorsement, promotion of any product, service or publication;

  • language which is offensive, obscene or otherwise inappropriate; or

  • misleading, deceptive, violate a third party’s rights or are otherwise contrary to law.

We reserve the right to reject submissions that do not comply with the letter and spirit of these rules.

Authorised materials

You agree to only include code, data, or other materials in a submission for the Melbourne Science Hackfest contest that you have the right to use and release consist with these Contest Rules. If you have concerns talk to our team, they may help you to get more clarity.

All code and APIs must be available under an appropriately open license that allows reuse, commercial use, remixing and redistribution. As the owner of the code you can of course fork that code and commercialise if you want, but to be eligible for the competition, the codebase and demonstration submitted must be open sourced. All other content submitted must be Creative Commons BY licensed. For instance you may choose to submit an incredible dynamic or static data visualisation as your team contribution.

The reason for the open licensing of code and content is because Melbourne Science Hackfest is about awesome outcomes that anyone can use and build on. Great innovation comes from building on the greatness of those who came before

Entrants consent to Melbourne Science Hackfest representatives using their name, likeness, image and/or voice in any media for an unlimited period of time, without remuneration, for any publicity and marketing purposes.

Most data sets available for this contest have been released under a permissive licence such as the Creative Commons Attribution license 4.0. You can also use other material that has been released on similarly liberal terms (ie. it is in the public domain (eg. US Government materials) or released under another, compatible Creative Commons license, the Free Documentation License, the MIT license or BSD license etc.).You can use non- Government data licenced for reuse, however remember this is Melbourne Science HackFest so you must use some official Government data sets.

Right to remove

Submissions and comments will be posted live, but occasionally they may not make it through our anti-trolling and anti-spamming filters and may need to be moderated manually. We reserve the right to remove or not post any submission that reasonably appears to breach any of these rules.


The Melbourne Science Hackfest team makes no representations or warranties of any kind, expressed or implied, including warranties of accuracy, in regard to any submissions or links published on the Melbourne Science HackFest website.

Melbourne Science Hackfest should be an awesome experience for everyone. Be nice, play fair, or go home.