Community Tools - NFDI4Ing

Tools for everybody

Newsletters & mailing lists

There are several newsletters and mailing lists you can subscribe to

Each Community Cluster is hosting a newsletter for its research domain, the first issue is currently under preparation. Follow the link to sign up:

  • Community 41 Mechanical and industrial engineering
  • Community 42 Thermal engineering and process engineering
  • Community 43 Materials science and engineering
  • Community 44 Computer science, information technology, electrical and systems engineering
  • Community 45 Construction engineering and architecture

Community Tools


We work on the Gitlab Instance

Many of our task areas organize code, information or other kinds of materials via gitlab.
Check out the nfdi4ing-group to get started.

Majority of repositories are public, so everybody can access them, but to contribute you need an account.
You can either login with a Github-Account or via the DFN-AAI Single-Sign-On. See the section below for a list of entitled institutions.

The creation of projects and groups is limited to people signing in via the SSO-mechanism. Feel free to create a project in another gitlab instance so for us to fork over, or let us create a new project for you.

Documentation is plentiful, guides concerning git (for example by Atlassian de/en) and git workflows, and Gitlab is hosting an excellent documentation about its features as well as guides about its basics

  • DLR – Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.
  • Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (FZJ)
  • Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
  • Hochschule Darmstadt, University of Applied Sciences
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • Leibniz Universtität Hannover
  • RWTH Aachen University
  • Technical University of Darmstadt
  • Technical University of Munich (TUM)
  • Technical University of Dortmund
  • Technical University of Dresden
  • TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences)
  • Universität Duisburg-Essen
  • Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
  • University of Applied Sciences Aachen
  • University of Bielefeld
  • University of Siegen
  • University of Stuttgart

Community Forum: Discuss and exchange

Come to this gitlab project to discuss reasearch data related topics & issues
“Gitlab again? They linked it twice instead of the forum” – But no, this is correct. We will use this specific Gitlab project to discuss within its issue management system. How is that supposed to work? Follow the link and see the project Readme and Wiki.

This might be unconventional, but integrating and using Gitlab and its features to organize discussions brings many advantes: One discussion can be found under multiple tags (labels), where typical forums only organize in one dimension. Gitlab also brings great features to for referencing other issues (threads), projects and files as well as organizing them in issue boards according to specific labels. 

Access is the same as for Gitlab – the forum group is public so everybody can participate and request access. Just sign in and find the link just underneath the title.



You can currently find two instances of FAQ:

  • The community-centered FAQ is located on the main page of the Community-Hub.
  • The more general FAQ can be reached via the top menu contact&FAQ.

Surveys & Polling

We recommend the following survey tools:

  • DFN Terminplaner
    This scheduler is a free service hostet by the DFN, a safe alternative to commercial services like doodle.
  •  SoSci Survey
    This professional survey tool is highly customizable and implements strict security. It is fully DSGVO compliant and free for non-commercial use.


Check out this knowledge base 

It is hosting guides and How-Tos for several research data and software related topics covering  Version control, Build system, Cross-linking publication, software and datasets, Continuous Integration, Containerization, Test-driven development and code quality, Test quantification, visualization and evaluation on HPC-clusters.

The are also categorized by the having part in a minimal or full workflow for (improving)  scientific software, which poses as the base concept of the knowledge hub.

Tools for Members & Participants


Sharepoint acts as the main service for internal document exchange

The Sharepoint is hosting libraries for each task area, to exchange, collect and organize materials and information. Documents can be edited online without the need for locally installed office software, also allowing for live collaboration.
The sharepoint server offers advanced metadata operations as well as a version control.

Office Templates for presentations and letters and further materials along with the style guide are hosted there.

How-To’s and Guides on how to use the Sharepoint, mailing lists, Rocket.Chat can be found along with information about how to access these services. See here.


Access NFDI4Ing Members can apply for a TU-ID which allows the login to the sharepoint. For details on the request see below.

 If you are accessing from a domain environment, it might be necessary to add “ADS\” in front of the TU-ID (username). 

To request a TU-ID, please send an email containing the following information to
Please CC your co-spokesperson, who guarantees your information is correct. 

  • Last name
  • First name
  • Date of birth

And, for your business address:

  • Personal email address (no group mailboxes)
  • Street address
  • ZIP/postcal code
  • City
  • Phone number
Once we have this information, you will send receive a formal application, which you will have to sign and send back to the address provided in the document. As soon as this is done, access to the SharePoint can be provided. If you have any questions, feel free to contact


Come and join the official NFDI Rocket.Chat Server

The NFDI has announced Rocket.Chat as its official means for flat communication. Announcements can be found in the general channels of the nfdi and the consortia, but Rocket.Chat also allows to organize in teams, public and private channels (with threads)  as well as private conversations.

If you’ve used Slack or Discord before, you’ll find Rocket.Chat familiar.


Rocket.Chat is OpenSource and as such the NFDI is hosting its own instance under:


Access is currently limited to members of currently funded consortia.  Members of NFDI4Ing can request login details via a document on the Sharepoint. See here

Apps Rocket.Chat is available via the browser, but there are also apps  for Windows, Linux, iOS,  Android and Apple devices. Find the downloads here.

Documentation Take a look at the End User Guides from, or  this tutorial in German language (note: this is describing a different instance). This short guide (German) can be found on the sharepoint.


Mailing list & function mailbox

There are several mailing lists you can subscribe to

An overview of existing mailing lists for internal NFDI4Ing communication can be found on the sharepoint   This entry will be updated with additional mailing lists spanning NFDI and RDM topics.

How-To’s for usage and administrations can be found on the sharepoint (link).



Function mailboxes allow multiple members access to one shared mailbox

A function mailbox can be accessed by multiple users to utilize the same mailbox and email address for an extended time period. Applications indicating the wanted email address ( with the alias and the TU-IDs of intended users are submitted to the management.
Instructions for usage will be provided upon setup.

Gitlab Pages

Host your own content but keep the Look

With Gitlab Pages you can host your own websites in a very easy manner.
Templates for plain html and selected static site generators (SSO) will allow to carry over the coorporate design of the web presence to custom content.

The templates  and a full guide on the workflow are still work in progress, but you can familiarize yourself with Gitlab Pages already.

The knowledge base hosts a How-To for the SSO ‘Hugo’, find it here.

Templates & materials

Office templates and print material can be found on the sharepoint

This spans slides for powerpoint, letter templates, rollup

See the ‘Sharepoint‘ section on how to get access.

Customer Relationship Management

A software for Customer (or ‘Community’) Relationship Management

will help us keep track of contacts made into the communities as well as better organize within the consortia.

A service has been selected and is currently being adapted to our custom requirements. As soon as the software is available, you will find additional information and guides here.