The Materials Science Community Forum, hosted at matsci.org, was created with the purpose of making a shared space for use between multiple research groups and codes, to help grow our respective communities, and to create a respectful and friendly environment to share help and information.
The Materials Science Community Forum is intended to be a long-term effort. To ensure this, the forum infrastructure was developed to be low-cost and easily-maintainable, with maintenance being able to be performed by representatives of multiple research groups. Groups are provided, by the forum administrators, with access to export functionality for their project’s post history. This will ensure that migrations remain possible and participants retain the freedom to leave at any time.
The forum will continue to be hosted on infrastructure managed by the Materials Project. In the event that Materials Project is no longer able to provide infrastructure to host the forum, the KIM Project will take over hosting if it is able. If both projects are unable to provide this service, the decision on how to proceed will be determined by consensus of the members.
The forum is intended as a neutral space, without preference to any one research group or code. As such, the main site logo does not contain project-specific branding. Each code or group has its own dedicated category, and these categories are listed on the home page in order of recent activity.
The forum is intended to be inclusive and includes a code of conduct. Individual project leads are responsible for helping to maintain a welcoming and polite atmosphere.
The primary authority and responsibility for forum maintenance and decision making is shared between the Materials Project and the KIM Project, however all members will be consulted in decision making. The intent is to make the forum a useful place for all participants, and to make the changes necessary for this to happen. Decisions will be made by member consensus, with major decisions including the addition of new projects and fundamental changes to the rules and operation of the site requiring the agreement of both Materials Project and the KIM Project leads.
The domain for hosting the discussion forum will be matsci.org. The “Discourse” forum will be hosted at matsci.org, which will point to a landing page with information about the forum and its members. URLs of the form
project is the name of a project with a discussion forum hosted under matsci.org) will redirect to
matsci.org/c/project according to the Discourse convention.
There are no plans to use the matsci.org domain for other purposes. At this time, the matsci.org domain is being used exclusively for hosting of the forum. If additional content should be hosted in the future alongside the forum, it would be with a similar ethos in mind: neutral, educational and inclusive. In this case, forum members would be consulted first, and it would require the agreement of both Materials Project and the KIM Project leads.
Individual projects have the ability to display branding and relevant additional information and funding sources. The forum is hosted using the “Discourse” software, and allows for each project category to have its own “home page” including banner, accent color, and display logo/branding and additional information. Users can have an affiliation byline enabled after their username to make clear who is an official representative of a respective project.
We guarantee that the matsci.org domain will continue to be used for the Materials Science Community Forum. In the event that the domain will no longer be renewed by Materials Project, the KIM Project will be given the opportunity to accept a transfer of the domain to continue supporting the forum. If both projects are unable to provide this service, the decision on how to proceed will be determined by consensus of the members.