discussion forum established by OpenKIM and the Materials Project is thriving


In May 2020, the KIM Project and the Materials Project joined forces to organize a central discussion forum for researchers in molecular and multiscale simulations of materials at This effort is intended to foster community discussion for materials science and support for common scientific codes and databases. There are major benefits to this move:

  • Forums are managed through the state-of-the-art Discourse platform (more on this below).
  • Users can easily search across the forums of all projects.
  • Posts that relate to one or more projects can be tagged to indicate this.
  • Categories dedicated to conversations transcending individual projects can be created.

Currently [06-May-2021] 22 projects and codes have decided to join this effort and host their discussion forums on

AMSET | ASE | atomate | Atomly | Custodian | DL_POLY | FireWorks | GULP | hiphive | IFermi | LAMMPS | MaRDA | MATSCHOLAR | Materials Project | matminer | matscholar | MPDS | NOMAD | OpenKIM | OPTIMADE | OVITO | pyiron | pymatgen

Other projects wishing to join are welcome! For more information, fill out the form here to talk to us about it.

Benefits of Discourse

Discourse is an open source discussion forum platform. 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 or the migration of the OpenKIM Forum, please email us at