Introducing the CRIPT blog



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This new space aims to provide a channel for the CRIPT community to develop educational resources, share case studies, and highlight the many ways in which data and informatics can lead to innovation in polymer technology.

Michael Deagen (Olsen Lab, MIT) 

What is CRIPT?

Polymer materials (plastics, rubber, gels) have an enormous impact on modern society, however the information collected about these materials is often difficult to obtain, even when such information is publicly available. CRIPT (Community Resource for Innovation in Polymer Technology) uses a web-based platform1 to organize, preserve, and extract new value from digital assets (i.e., data) related to polymer science and engineering. The project—led by a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with collaborators in industry, academia, and government—gets its support from the Convergence Accelerator program of the National Science Foundation.

Vision for the CRIPT blog

As part of our community development efforts, we want this blog to provide value through educational content around polymer data and informatics. The vision for the blog includes:

  • Academic content written in an accessible format
  • Demonstrations and explanations of the technology behind CRIPT
  • Case studies from the CRIPT community

In order to make this a community-driven resource, we hope to recruit a variety of contributors from various segments of the CRIPT community (academia, industry, government).

With the CRIPT blog, we want to enable and empower you to share ideas and innovations with fellow practitioners and learners.

Why we chose fastpages

As a polymer informatics resource, CRIPT has a number of underlying concepts and features which benefit from explanations that combine text, code, and visuals. The fastpages2 platform simplifies the creation of blog posts from Jupyter Notebooks as well as Markdown and Word documents. To see more capabilities of fastpages, check out this example blog post. These include:

  • code blocks with syntax highlighting
  • figures and captions
  • footnotes
  • boxes / callouts
  • embedding of Tweetcards and Youtube videos
  • interactive data visualizations with Altair3

Altogether, these features provide a rich medium for expressing concepts in informatics by blending code and prose. For another example of a blog using fastpages, see the RDKit blog.4

How you can help

As a community-driven resource, we invite participation from all segments of the CRIPT community. Contributions can include offering peer-review/editorial input, identifying topics where a blog post would be helpful to the community, and authoring/co-authoring a post. If you are interested, contact the CRIPT team at

 Tip: Before writing a complete post, send us an outline or abstract to see if the content/scope is a good fit for the blog.

When developing a blog post, take a look at the style guidelines below and consider which category tags best describe your topic.

Style guidelines

The CRIPT blog aims for academic content presented in an accessible manner. Simple, clear language is preferred. When detailed understanding of a concept is needed, citations and footnotes can be used to link to other references. Generally, posts should contain between 1000-2500 words but will vary depending on the scope of the content. Figures are welcome where they provide clarity. Please include proper attribution and get permission for content owned by someone other than the author(s).

 Note: Formal citations should be placed at the end of the blog post and use a format such as ACS, IEEE, or MLA.

Blog posts should be educational, providing a balanced view of the opportunities and challenges around polymer data and informatics. When describing technical implementation (how) or justification (why), addressing open challenges or critical viewpoints is welcome and encouraged.

As a place for the CRIPT community to learn from one another and contribute their own perspectives, blog posts should be welcoming and inclusive. We strongly encourage posts written by multiple authors, especially when the concepts being presented require interdisciplinary collaboration. Also, as the CRIPT blog grows, we hope to see authors refer (and include hyperlinks) to earlier posts in this blog.

For examples of how to format Jupyter notebooks, Markdown, or Word documents into a blog post, take a look at the fastpages blog.

Adding tags to a post

With the fastpages framework, you can tag a post with categories to make it easier for others to find. To add categories, include the following line in the front matter, where the comma-separated list of categories is surrounded by square brackets:

- categories: [example, tag]

We recommend using one or more of the following tags, where appropriate:

academiaanalysisannouncementsapplicationsartificial intelligenceautomationcase studiescharacterizationchemistrycollaborationcomputationdata ingestiondata sciencedatabasesdemonstrationdesigndevelopmenteducationexperimentFAIR principlesgelsgovernmentgraphshigh-throughputindustryinformaticsinfrastructureinstrumentationinterfacesmachine learningmaterialsmathematicsmeta-analysismethodsnetworksnotebooksperspectivephysicspolymersprocessingpropertiesprogrammingpublicationqueryingrelease notesrepresentationsresearchstatisticssimulationsoftwarestructuresustainabilitysynthesistutorialsvalidationvisualizationworkflowsworkforceworkshops

 Important: If your post would benefit from another keyword(s), please reach out to the CRIPT team so that we can update this list!


The CRIPT polymer data resource has launched this blog to provide an educational onramp to the field of polymer informatics, and we are inviting the CRIPT community to participate in the development of content for this blog. The style should accessible and educational, in a format that is more brief and less technical than an academic journal article (articles and other resources can be cited using footnotes and hyperlinks!). Check out the fastpages tutorial for more examples to get started with writing a post from a Jupyter notebook, and please reach out to the CRIPT team at to participate in the expansion of this resource.

  2. fastpages is a blogging platform from
  3. Altair is a declarative visualization library for Python built atop Vega-Lite
  4. RDKit is an open-source toolkit for cheminformatics.