How to Ask for Help

It can be challenging to know who to ask for help when you’re getting started working on open source technologies. The Samvera Community offers several ways to connect to others in the community who can share their knowledge.

Chat Channels, Email Lists, Telephone Calls, Wiki Pages

There are many ways to ask for for help from the community, whether your question is about developing, metadata, project planning, or institutional policies. This page contains contact information for all of these points of interest.


For technical questions, the first place to reach people is in the Samvera Slack Team’s channel #dev.

Joining the Slack team requires an invitation, but anyone can generate an automatic invite using this form. (If this form does not work, you may want to use this backup form. If you need help getting connected, ping and someone will be in touch.

Several Samvera Partners use Slack within their institutions for team communication and collaboration. There is a Samvera Slack team that is used for discussion, questions, announcements, interest groups, and working groups. Anyone can create a new channel within the Samvera Slack team once they have registered for an account.

A tutorial can be found here. Slack has clients for Mac, PC, Linux, and mobile devices, and may be used via any web browser.

Mailing Lists

  • Samvera-Releases (1-2 messages a month)

    Subscribe to this list if you want notification of every new point (bugfix) release of Samvera and related software. Most people will not need this density of release information. Major releases are notified to the Samvera-Announces list.

  • Samvera-Announces (2-5 messages a month)

    Subscribe to this list if you want the minimum mailings - only the most important security, major release, and event announcements

  • Samvera-Community (5-10 messages a week on average)

    Subscribe to this list if you want a broader spectrum of non-technical information related to Samvera. If you have general questions about adopting Samvera, project planning, requirements definition, etc., feel free to e-mail this list.

    All messages to Samvera-Announces are sent also to the Samvera-Community list - if you’re subscribed to Samvera-Community, you don’t need to subscribe to Samvera-Announces

  • Samvera-Tech (15-20 messages per week on average)

    Subscribe to this list if you want to follow current technical discussions about Samvera and all of its components. If you have technical questions about implementing or developing with Samvera, email this list.

    All messages to Samvera-Announces are sent also to the Samvera-Tech list - if you’re subscribed to Samvera-Tech, you don’t need to subscribe to Samvera-Announces

  • Samvera-Metadata

    Subscribe to this list if you want to get help with or discuss metadata issues in Samvera

  • Samvera-Partners

    This is a closed list available only to formal Samvera Partners and is typically used only for community governance discussions

  • Samvera-Steering

    This is a closed list available to Steering Group members and is typically used for community maintenance and licensing activities. If you have questions about becoming a partner, code licensing, or usage rights, please e-mail

  • Samvera-Slack-Admins

    This is a closed list available to Samvera Slack administrators. Send email to if you’re having trouble with Slack.

  • Blacklight

    Not a Samvera list as such but possibly of interest to those whose focus is on the Blacklight layer. The primary mailing list for anyone using or improving Blacklight.


  • Technical Call

    There is a weekly Samvera technical call for developers and other folks who are contributing code or are actively using the core Samvera plugins & components.

    Wednesdays at 9:00 AM Pacific Time, noon Eastern Time Check out this helpful time zone translation

    Connect via Zoom, which will launch the Zoom client. Instructions to connect by telephone are included at the top of the agenda for each call.

  • Monthly Partner Call

    There is a monthly Samvera Partners call among (signed) partners. This call complements the technical calls (above), but instead of a focus on code, the Partners call focuses on community & functional progress.

    2nd Friday of the month 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM Pacific Time Check out this helpful time zone translation

    This call used to use the conference line above but has recently been exploring other systems. For a given call, check the agenda on the right of the Samvera Partner Calls page for the dial-in (etc) information.


While the #samvera room in IRC is in continuous use, most conversations now take place on Slack (as of spring/summer 2016).

Server: Channel: #samvera

If you don’t already use an IRC client, connect through the web at Nickname: pick a name, Channels: #samvera

For more information on how to start using irc, check out the instructions on the code4lib site.

Samvera Wiki

The Samvera Wiki has a wealth of information, and is the place where working groups are formed and track their progress, where the technical calls record their agendas and meetings notes. You need an account for the Samvera Wiki so that you can contribute to Samvera’s pages. If you do not have one already, please request an account by sending an email to

Samvera Connect, Partner & Steering Group Meetings

Once each academic year, there is a global Samvera Connect meeting; this is a chance for all Samvera Partners and users to meet at one time in one place to promote connections and collaboration throughout the rest of the year. The Samvera Partners also gather for a multi-day (usually three), face-to-face meeting a couple of times a year. These events provide regular forums for partners to focus on aligning road maps, coordinating resources, and extending the technical, community, documentation and training framework. See the Samvera Partner Meetings page for more details. The Samvera Steering Group, a smaller group of institutions that stewards the overall effort and provides central administration, also meets separately during these sessions.

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