How to use the Forum as Science Collaboration chair

The overall goal of the Rubin Community Forum is an openly accessible platform for user support and scientific discussion. Anyone, from anywhere worldwide, may create an account in the Rubin Community Forum.

In order to help Science Collaboration chairs make the best use the Forum, the Rubin Community Science team has prepared the following three recommendations.

  1. Science Collaborations should have both an eponymous group and an eponymous sub-category in the Science Collaborations category. If the group exists, then the sub-category should also exist (and vice versa).

  2. Membership in a Science Collaboration Forum group should be restricted to Science Collaboration members. If the group exists, requests to join the group should be cross-matched against a list of Science Collaboration members before approval.

  3. Science Collaboration chairs should be (or appoint) the Forum group owners who will review and approve requests to join the group, watch their sub-category for new Topics and provide responses to questions.

Additional “how-to” information in support of these recommendations is available below. All Science Collaboration chairs are encouraged to reach out to the Lead Community Scientist (@MelissaGraham) or any CST member with questions.

How to create a group or sub-category.

If the group or sub-category for a Science Collaboration does not exist, contact the Lead Community Scientist (@MelissaGraham) and ask them to create it.

How to become a Forum group owner.

Group owners can assign other group members as owners. Alternatively, ask the Lead Community Scientist (@MelissaGraham) to use their Forum admin powers to assign group owners.

How to add Forum group members in bulk.

Navigate to the group page (e.g., start at and click on the group). Click “+ Add Users” and the pop-up box instructs “Enter a list of users you want to invite to the group or paste in a comma separated list”.

How to review and approve new Forum group member requests.

Navigate to the Forum groups page ( and select the group. On the next page, group owners will see an option “Requests”; click that button to see a list of requests. Do not leave requests as pending, either accept or respond-and-deny, as described below.

Use the “Accept” button to accept requests from Science Collaboration members. Requests should only be denied after reaching out to the person to explain Science Collaboration membership and how they can apply to join, or to explain why the person has been denied SC membership. They will not receive an automated message about the denial. Reaching out via Forum direct message is recommended, as group owners cannot see user emails.

How to watch a sub-category for new Topics and respond.

See this Forum Topic on How to subscribe to emails of all new topics. It is recommended to select “Tracking” in order to be notified of all new Topics (but not all reply posts), and every time someone mentions you.

How to get help with the Forum.

Create a new Topic in the Meta category and ask any question; it will be answered there by Forum administrators. Alternatively, contact the Lead Community Scientist (@MelissaGraham) at any time with questions or requests for assistance with anything Forum-related.

FYI: group and category settings.

Groups – The main settings for groups are access, visibility, and posting. Science Collaboration chairs should review the options for these settings as described in the Topic “How to join a Forum group (and why)”. All Science Collaboration groups have the following settings:

  • access: any logged-in user can request to join the group
  • visibility: everyone can see the group and its members
  • posting: only the group owners can @mention and send private messages to the group

Categories – The main setting for (sub-)categories is the security level, which controls who can (1) see, (2) reply to, and/or (3) create new Topics in the (sub-)category. All Science Collaboration sub-categories allow only group members to see, reply to, and create new Topics.

While it is possible to have custom settings, it is recommended that all Science Collaborations adopt the settings above for consistency.