What is a Hypothes.is Group?

Instead of every comment, annotation, and reply being visible to anyone and everyone, Hypothes.is created a group function allowing a space where only those you invite could see and add annotations. One thing to note before looking at groups; Annotations are posted on a layer “above” the document or website. Each group is a separate layer for annotations. Any group restriction applies to the “layer” and not the document or web page itself.

There are four types of groups that serve different annotation privacy needs. Below are the groups listed from having the most privacy to being the most public.

  1. The Private Group is their most restricted option allowing only those invited and logged into the group to read or post annotations.
  2. The Restricted Group is also invite only to join and a user must be logged in to post an annotation. However, in this group type, anyone can read the already posted annotations.
  3. Unlike the above groups, the Open Group allows any logged-in user to join the group. Users must be logged in to post annotations but any person, logged-in or not, can view posted annotations.
  4. The Public Layer is not technically a “group” as it is the main annotation layer of a document on Hypothes.is. The listed groups are just a way to separate from this layer. The Public Layer has all the same restrictions as the Open Group: Anyone logged-in can join and post, and any viewer, logged in or not, can read the annotations.

With each group option, the creator of the group is able to moderate the annotations posted within that group. From the list above, only Private Groups are able to be created without the assistance of Hypothes.is.

How to Create Hypothes.is Group?

  1. Make sure you have created an account and installed the Hypothes.is extension onto your browser.
  2. Activate the Hypothes.is extension and open the sidebar.
  3. Click on  the Scope Selector in the upper left corner of the sidebar. Choose, “New Private Group.” Alternatively you can login to Hypothes.is and open the New Group Page.
  4. Add a name and description for your group. Once you’re satisfied with both, click “Create a new group.”
  5. Redirection to the group’s activity page will occur. Here, a link to invite members will be available on the right hand side.

Once the group is created, share the invite link with students and others you would like to have as part of the group.

How to Use a Hypothes.is Group?

  1. Have the document or website open that you would like to annotate. Activate the Hypothesis extension and open the side bar.
  2. Choose the Scope Selector from the upper left corner. A drop-down menu will show all of your groups. Click on the name of the group you are wanting to use.
  3. Your view will switch to the chosen group. Highlight text and add annotation. If you would like the other group members to see and reply to your annotation, select the option “Post to [your group name].”