State of Research Software Engineers on Mastodon

Richard Darst (ed)
August 08, 2023

Many domains have migrated to Mastodon as of 2023. Have Research Software Engineers? This post examines the situation, based on this post by rkdarst. There are many contributors to this post as seen in this issue.

Summary: not much yet

This post can be updated as we get more information/the situation evolves, please send pull requests.

RSE organizations

Other accounts to follow to seed your community

TODO: We should try to get a category in rather than make our own list.

Common hashtags

  • #RSEng and #RSE have been seen, but #RSEng is preferred (ref. There doesn't seem to be much activity there. #RSEng was the primary tag from from Twitter. Sometimes #RSE is the people and #RSEng is the activity.

  • #HPC has a fair community.

  • #OpenScience can be found, in addition to ResearchData and ResearchSoftware.

  • We propose #SciComp as a general "scientific computing" tag which can partly overlap with the above, but is more general to people interested in the computing part of science.

  • There is the group "researchsoftware", which will boost any post tagging it, and can be used as a more targeted distribution group than tags (ref). We could also get a listing at

RSE-focused Mastodon servers

There don't seem to be any servers specifically focused on the RSE community. Perhaps the closest one is the HPC community, and we are invited to take part there (ref). There is overlap between the HPC and RSE communities, and the initial community survey (ref) for creation of the Mastodon server showed a significant interest in exchanging information on software topics.

Many of the repliers used

One could ask if it's better to have a common server, or be more distributed among the communities of other scientists to spread the word. There is a list of academic/science related servers at fedi-science. The primary advantage of a topic-driven server is a better local timeline, which will be populated with the posts of everyone on that server. While following hashtags/etc. is similar, the local server makes this more natural.

There could be room for some RSE organization to set up a RSE-focused server. (editor note: I, rkdarst, would somewhat prefer a "scicomp"-focused mastodon server to bring together data, computing, software, etc. people. Yet, this is also too broad and nebulous and without organizational backing so comments were negative on this idea.)


  • Please send pull request with updates.
  • We should contact SocRSE UK and ask them if they are interested in a Mastodon community.