Central discussion forum for computational materials science established at MatSci.org


The KIM Project and the Materials Project have joined forces to organize a central discussion forum for researchers in molecular and multiscale simulations of materials at matsci.org. This is intended to foster community discussion for materials science and support for common scientific codes and databases. There are major benefits to this move:

  • Users can easily search across the forums of all projects.
  • Forums are managed through the state-of-the-art Discourse platform (more on this below).
  • Categories dedicated to conversations transcending individual projects.

The following projects and codes have decided to join this effort and host their discussion forums on matsci.org (note that some projects are still in migration and may not appear yet):

  • amset
  • ASE
  • atomate
  • FireWorks
  • GULP
  • Materials Project
  • matminer
  • matscholar
  • OpenKIM
  • ovito
  • pymatgen

OpenKIM has migrated its Google Groups forum to its new home at https://matsci.org/openkim. Historical posts from the Google Groups forum have been ported to matsci.org and the Google Groups forum has been closed to further posts.

Other projects wishing to join matsci.org are welcome! For more information, please see the "Contact Us" section on the About page at https://matsci.org/about.

Benefits of Discourse

Discourse is an open source discussion forum platform. MatSci.org is a locally-hosted installation of the Discourse software, co-managed by the Materials Project and the KIM Project. This ensures the autonomy of the project.

The Discourse platform was selected after careful consideration and comparison with alternatives due to several advantages of this system:

  • state-of-the-art online forum features, while also supporting traditional email and mailing list workflows (receiving email notification and posting via email).

  • feedback system that affects which messages become more visible and which user's responses get more weight (i.e. Stack Exchange style features), such as "like" for upvoting replies.

  • identification of responders as trusted sources and encouragement of participation through badges and other "gamification" approaches.

  • support for a large library of plugins for extending functionality (e.g. support for MathJax to display mathematical notation in posts in LaTex, and many other features).

  • automatic search for likely similar topics across all categories (projects and codes) when entering the topic for a new post. This should help users to find existing support for their issue before they make duplicate posts.

  • support for rich text format (markdown, images, code snippets, etc.)

  • access to participants who are either unable or choose not to use Google Groups.

If you have any questions regarding matsci.org or the migration of the OpenKIM Forum, please email us at support@openkim.org.