The OpenMS project welcomes your expertise and enthusiasm! Your choices aren’t limited to programming, as you can see below there are many areas where we need your help.

If you’re unsure where to start or how your skills fit in, reach out! You can ask on the mailing list or GitHub (open an issue or comment on a relevant issue).

Those are our preferred channels (open source is open by nature), but if you prefer to talk privately, contact our community coordinators at Gitter.

If you only want to be informed of new versions of OpenMS, please subscribe to the mailing list open-ms-announcements.

Our community aspires to treat everyone equally and to value all contributions. We have a Code of Conduct to foster an open and welcoming environment.

Writing code

Programmers, this guide explains how to contribute to the OpenMS codebase.

Reviewing pull requests

The project has more than 45+ open pull requests – meaning many potential improvements and many open-source contributors waiting for feedback. If you’re a developer who knows openms, you can help even if you’re not familiar with the codebase. You can:

  • summarize a long-running discussion
  • triage documentation PRs
  • test proposed changes

Developing educational materials

openms’s User Guide is undergoing rehabilitation. We’re in need of new tutorials, how-to’s, and deep-dive explanations, and the site needs restructuring. Opportunities aren’t limited to writers. We’d also welcome worked examples, notebooks, and videos. OpenMS-Docs lays out our ideas – and you may have others.

Issue triaging

The OpenMS issue tracker has a lot of open issues. Some are no longer valid, some should be prioritized, and some would make good issues for new contributors. You can:

  • check if older bugs are still present
  • find duplicate issues and link related ones
  • add good self-contained reproducers to issues
  • label issues correctly (this requires triage rights – just ask)

Please just dive in.

Website development

We’ve just revamped our website, but we’re far from done. If you love web development, these issues list some of our unmet needs – and feel free to share your own ideas.

Graphic design

We can barely begin to list the contributions a graphic designer can make here. Our docs are parched for illustration; our growing website craves images – opportunities abound.

Community coordination and outreach

Through community contact we share our work more widely and learn where we’re falling short. We’re eager to get more people involved in efforts like our Twitter account, organizing openms, a newsletter, and perhaps a blog.


OpenMS was all-volunteer for many years, but as its importance grew it became clear that to ensure stability and growth we’d need financial support. Like all the nonprofit world, we’re constantly searching for grants, sponsorships, and other kinds of support. We have a number of ideas and of course we welcome more. Fundraising is a scarce skill here – we’d appreciate your help.

You can also donate using our opencollective account.