We are in the process of migrating this document to an FAQ which will be separate from our community code of conduct. The new (as of March 2019) QIIME 2 community Code of Conduct is temporarily available here.

This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion

Please treat the QIIME 2 Forum with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules, merely aids to the human judgment of our community. Use these guidelines to keep this a clean, well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.

Be patient

The moderators of this forum are the QIIME 2 developers. We strive to reply to questions within one working day (i.e., Monday through Friday, not including holidays). Remember that when you post a question to the QIIME 2 Forum, you're asking for someone's time to help you with software that they're giving to you for free. Please be patient while waiting for a reply, and don't cross-post your question.

New user moderation

Anyone can register for a free account on the QIIME 2 Forum. All new user posts are sent to a moderation queue for approval before being posted. This helps us achieve a couple of goals. First, it avoids spam being posted to the forum by ensuring that a user is making relevant posts before they're allowed to post without prior approval. Next, it allows us to ensure that users are adhering to the guidelines in this document before they're allowed to post. This ensures that only useful, organized, and acceptable discussions are happening on the forum, which makes the forum more useful for everyone. If a post doesn't follow the guidelines described in this document, we will reject the post and send a direct message to the user explaining why the post was rejected.

All new users start with trust level new user, and until a user reaches a trust level of basic user and has three forum posts approved by the moderators, all of their posts will be sent to the moderation queue before being posted. A user's trust level is increased from new user to basic user primarily based on the time they have spent reading posts on the forum. This ensures that users have interacted with the QIIME 2 Forum beyond their own posts, and therefore have observed how our community operates, before being allowed to post directly to the forum.

Your Work is Your Work

Technical challenges are real, software bugs happen, and the state of the discipline is constantly changing. This forum is here to help you navigate those (and other) challenges, but it is ultimately your responsibility to understand your data and your tools, perform your own analysis, and derive meaning from your data.

Selecting appropriate methods of analysis, choosing effective experimental parameters, and interpreting your results are fundamental parts of the research process. This type of work is generally associated with authorship, and researchers who share responsibility for these aspects of their work often do so through formal collaborations with co-authors. This remains true in computationally-oriented research. Posts flagrantly or insistently asking others to take responsibility for these parts of the research process will be treated as violations of this code of conduct. On the other hand, good-faith efforts to understand the domain, software, or analytical process, or to trouble-shoot technical problems, are highly valued as contributions here.

If you are a student working on an assignment or project, we are happy to provide resources, answer questions about how QIIME 2 works, or provide troubleshooting assistance for the software, as we do for all forum members. Good-faith efforts to learn or to troubleshoot technical problems are very welcome. Requests that others do your intellectual work for you will be treated as violations of this code of conduct. It is our goal to support learning, so we will not answer homework questions for you.

Some ways to take ownership of your work here on the forum:

  • attempt to solve your issue independently first
  • read and consider the full contents of error messages - what is it trying to tell you?
  • search :mag: the forum for related topics (e.g. search your error message!)
  • look for information in the docs - the tutorials are amazing :tada:
  • try replacing "what is the answer" questions with "how" and "why" questions when appropriate

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

One way to improve the discussion is by discovering ones that are already happening. Please spend some time browsing the topics here before replying or starting your own, and you’ll have a better chance of meeting others who share your interests.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But, remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling.
  • Ad hominem attacks.
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content.
  • Knee-jerk contradiction.

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.

Your Participation Counts

The conversations we have here set the tone for everyone. Help us influence the future of this community by choosing to engage in discussions that make this forum an interesting place to be — and avoiding those that do not.

Discourse provides tools that enable the community to collectively identify the best (and worst) contributions: favorites, bookmarks, likes, flags, replies, edits, and so forth. Use these tools to improve your own experience, and everyone else’s, too.

Let’s try to leave our park better than we found it.

If You See a Problem, Flag It

Moderators have special authority; they are responsible for this forum. But so are you. With your help, moderators can be community facilitators, not just janitors or police.

When you see bad behavior, don’t reply. It encourages the bad behavior by acknowledging it, consumes your energy, and wastes everyone’s time. Just flag it. If enough flags accrue, action will be taken, either automatically or by moderator intervention.

In order to maintain our community, moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time. The moderators and site operators take no responsibility for any content posted by the community.

Always Be Civil

Nothing sabotages a healthy conversation like rudeness:

  • Be civil. Don’t post anything that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech.
  • Keep it clean. Don’t post anything obscene or sexually explicit.
  • Respect each other. Don’t harass or grief anyone, impersonate people, or expose their private information.
  • Respect our forum. Don’t post spam or otherwise vandalize the forum.

These are not concrete terms with precise definitions — avoid even the appearance of any of these things. If you’re unsure, ask yourself how you would feel if your post was featured on the front page of the New York Times.

This is a public forum, and search engines index these discussions. Keep the language, links, and images safe for family and friends.

Keep It Tidy

Make the effort to put things in the right place, so that we can spend more time discussing and less cleaning up. So:

  • Don’t start a topic in the wrong category.
  • Don’t cross-post the same thing in multiple topics.
  • Don’t post no-content replies.
  • Don’t divert a topic by changing it midstream.
  • Don’t sign your posts — every post has your profile information attached to it.

Rather than posting “+1” or “Agreed”, use the Like button. Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a Linked Topic.


There are a few channels of communication that you can use to get input from the QIIME 2 developers, including this forum, our GitHub issue trackers, and Slack (for developers). We monitor all of these regularly, so please post a question to only one of these channels. If you post the same question to multiple channels (e.g., a GitHub issue tracker and this forum) it often leads to wasted effort because two different moderators will invest time in researching and answering the same question. This is perceived by the moderators as a disregard for their time. Similarly, please don't post the same question in multiple different topics on this forum as that has the same effect.

If you decide that you'd like to change where you posted a question (e.g., you initially post to an issue tracker but later decide you'd rather post to the forum) we ask that you delete your initial post in favor of the new post.

Post Only Your Own Stuff

You may not post anything digital that belongs to someone else without permission. You may not post descriptions of, links to, or methods for stealing someone’s intellectual property (software, video, audio, images), or for breaking any other law.

Consider linking to code rather than posting code

A core goal of QIIME 2 is to support reproducible bioinformatics analyses. Being reproducible includes being able to describe the specific versions of all software that was used for every step of an analysis. Version control systems are designed for this, but forum topics are not. We therefore discourage posting source code to the forum. Instead we recommend that software that you want to share be placed under version control, for example on GitHub or as a Gist, and then linked to from the forum. This will also generally keep both your forum post and the code you're sharing cleaner and more readable.

Keep in mind that if you post (or link to) your software from the forum, people will hold you responsible for it. You will be blamed for bugs in that software, so it should be well-tested, and users will expect you to support that software. If you're not ready to provide user support, or don't feel that your software is tested well enough to be considered "publication quality", it's probably not ready to be shared on the forum. If you want to share "pre-release" or "alpha" software, it should include easily discoverable disclaimers about its state, for example in the software's README file.

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