Relevant background:

I'm the lead developer of an open-source computational chemistry package. I sometimes get emails asking for support. I'm happy to answer those emails, but I'd rather that the answers be somewhere searchable for the rest of the world.

Given the links above, it seems like it could be reasonable for me to send my users here to ask questions about using my software. However, it's also pretty clear that the first link is copy-paste from every other SE site, so I want to get some feedback from the actual community here before starting that.

In my particular case, one risk would be that some questions would end up about Python (my software is a library) instead of my specific software or its underlying scientific algorithms. This is because users aren't always familiar with Python and don't know where my software ends and generic Python begins.

On the other hand, a lot of the answers aren't just me saying how to do X with my software, but also sort of acting as a "consultant" in helping researchers do good science, because I know the ins and outs of the methods in my code. I would hope that questions like these would be a benefit to the community.

If the community here tends to feel that this would be suitable, my follow-up question would be, what's the best way to start? Obviously, there's no tag for my software yet, nor are there tags for the sub-sub-domain (rare events) or the specific method (path sampling) my code implements. For now, I thought I'd follow a few related tags (computational-chemistry, molecular-dynamics, software) and tell users to tag with those (besides, I'll be honestly interested in much of molecular-dynamics and some of the others).

If this isn't a good fit here, no worries: I'll probably use GitHub Discussions. I wanted to try StackExchange first because I think non-programmers find SE a little more friendly than GH. Also, the general methodological stuff may be interesting to a broader audience than those who regularly read my project's GitHub site.

(FWIW, I expect that my project would lead to maybe a couple questions a month, so hardly a torrent of spam. But I'd rather have a clear sense of how the community feels.)

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    $\begingroup$ I would recommend asking the same question at Matter Modeling; there you'll find more people working a similar field. Also programming questions are better received there. And they are still developing their scope. Here we focus more on the chemistry side of questions and use cc as a tool primarily. Also please have a look at Where to offer mhchem support? $\endgroup$ Jan 29, 2021 at 21:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks @Martin-マーチン! I had mistakenly assumed that Matter Modeling would be more exclusively focused on electronic structure/materials and less interested in, e.g., rates of biomolecular systems, which is where I've focused. But I looked around a little over there, and I think it'll be a great fit! $\endgroup$
    – dwhswenson
    Jan 29, 2021 at 21:30


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