How to join a Forum group (and why)

Joining a Forum group is not necessary to access most of the Forum’s content, but groups can provide additional privacy and functionality.

How to find and join Forum groups.

Browse existing groups and manage memberships at

Some groups are publicly visible, and some are not. Some groups can be freely joined, and some groups require the submission of a request to join that is reviewed by the group owner.

  • A little green check mark next to “Member” indicates group membership.
  • Click on the gray “Join” box to join a group.
  • Click on the gray “Request” box to request to join a group. Requests will be reviewed by the group owners.
  • Click on the red “Leave” box to leave a group.

The two main types of Forum groups and their membership benefits.

  1. Science Collaboration groups.

Individuals should join the Science Collaboration before submitting a request to join the Forum group for their Science Collaboration. Each collaboration has its own independent process and set of requirements for new members: learn more by visiting the websites for the Science Collaborations. Students are welcome to join Science Collaborations. After completing the Science Collaboration membership process, request to join the Forum group by navigating to and clicking on the gray “Request” box. A representative of the Science Collaboration will accept requests after cross-matching with their membership list. Being a member of the Forum group enables a user to access the Science Collaboration’s private category and to receive direct messages sent to the group.

  1. Rubin staff groups.

These groups are generally joined by submitting a request which is reviewed by the group owner. These groups are generally visible but have limited posting settings. Rubin staff should join the group for their department or team (e.g., LSST, LSSTDM, CST) for two reasons. (1) As group affiliation is visible in the Forum, other users will be able to tell when they’re talking to Rubin staff. (2) There are a few closed categories for Rubin staff discussions only. Note that the “staff” group in the Forum is unrelated to Rubin, it is just the combination of the moderators and admins groups.

Additional information about Forum groups.

Understanding Forum group settings (for group owners).

Each Forum group can customize its access, visibility, and posting settings.

See also the Topic How to use the Forum as Science Collaboration chair.

Access – each group’s access settings have three yes/no options that control how Forum users may join and leave the group:

  • allow users to join the group freely (requires publicly visible group)
  • allow users the leave the group freely
  • allow users to send membership requests to group owners (requires publicly visible group)

Visibility – Each group has two visibility settings: (1) who can see this group and (2) who can see this group’s members. The options for each setting are: everyone; logged on users; group owners, members, moderators; group owners, moderators; or group owners. Note that here, ‘everyone’ includes web crawlers and people without Forum accounts.

Posting – Each group has two posting settings: (1) who can @mention this group and (2) who can message this group. The options are: nobody; only admins; only moderators and admins; only group members, moderators, and admins; only group owners, moderators, and admins; or everyone. In this case, ‘everyone’ means logged-in Forum users only.

What are the “trust level” groups?

Trust levels are a built-in feature of the Discourse platform on which the Rubin Community Forum is based. New users start at trust level 0, and progress higher the more they interact with the Forum. These are non-optional Forum groups, and all user accounts are members of a trust level group.