Project deliverable Open Access

BioExcel Deliverable 3.1 - Selection and Establishment of User Groups

Carter, Adam; Harrow, Ian; Apostolov, Rossen; Soiland-Reyes, Stian; de Groot, Bert; Abraham, Mark

BioExcel has identified and classified a list of communities of interest and from this a set of initial Interest Groups (IGs) has been selected. This selection is part of an ongoing process of engagement, which is described later in the document. The process of establishing these initial IGs is now underway.

The initial IGs are "Biomolecular simulations entry level users", "Integrative modelling", "Free energy calculations", "Hybrid methods for biomolecular systems", "Best practices for performance tuning", and "Practical applications for industry". A key feature of most of these groups is that they can be built from established user-communities of the project's key codes.

IGs will be supported with mailing lists, and forums, the latter being provided by the Discourse platform. Additional tools and activities such as blogs and real- time chat will be provided in response to the needs of the groups. Webinars will also form an important part of the user engagement process and GoToWebinar has been selected as the platform for this function. These webinars will focus on the interests of the IGs, with an initial webinar planned to highlight BioExcel's offering and to catch the interest of potential IG members.

It is envisioned that BioExcel can function as a hub of IGs (comprised of named individuals who have chosen to be members of the IG) drawn from communities that BioExcel will support. Communities have been classified as "[those] based around research infrastructures and services", "users of particular pieces of software", "users of a particular technique", "application area communities", "industry alliances", "academic initiatives and projects" and "other infrastructure providers".

BioExcel has conducted an initial user survey and has used the results in conjunction with findings from recent user surveys of the project's key codes to inform plans for the initial IGs.

The process for engagement can be summarised as follows: As a first step, members of external communities are invited to join a Discourse support forum and the announcement mailing lists. Initially there will be three categories for each of the pilot codes (Gromacs, Haddock and CPMD); others such as “Automation Workflows” can be added later. With the initial invitation, members of those external communities will be invited to attend the first webinar, which will give an overview of the CoE, its purpose and its support structures. At the first webinar we will announce the suggested themes for future webinars around the five initial IGs. Proposed discussion topics for future webinars will be collected on the forums. Follow-up webinars will be run monthly. If the initial IGs prove to generate activity, new categories will be created for them in the forums. As the IGs gain traction, we will select an “ambassador” from each group who will represent the group in the CoE’s scientific advisory board (SAB).

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