Can I create a new discussion topic by email?

You can. Create a new topic by sending an email to the address assigned to that group’s discussion forum. To get that email address, visit the group’s discussion forum and click on the “Create New Topic” button . 

Screenshot of "create new topic" text in a group's discussion forum. The box below reads "Did you know you can post new topics to this group from your email client? Find out how!"

Click on the link beside “Did you know you can post new topics to this group from your email client?” Another text box will appear with the email address that you can use to post new topics by email. 

The message must be sent from the email account associated with your Humanities Commons account. The subject of the email will become the title of the discussion topic. 

You can also reply to a discussion forum topic by email if you are subscribed to receive All Email.

Can I reply to a discussion forum topic by email?

Yes! You can post a reply to a discussion forum thread by replying to the email notification, as long as you are subscribed to receive All Email from that group. You can change your email settings on the group page, under Email Options, or from the group directory. For more information, see the guide about group notifications.

When you send the email, your reply will post to the discussion forum.

You can also create a discussion forum topic by email.

Can I share an event with a group?

Yes! To create and share an event, simply hover over your name and avatar at the top right of the screen and choose New Events from the Events menu.


After entering the date and details of your event, you’ll see a Groups section toward the bottom of the page. From there you can select the groups that you’d like to share the event with. You can only share the event with groups you belong to.

Alternatively, you can go directly to a group’s page and click Events in the menu that runs across the top of each group’s page. Click the New Event button to add your event. The settings determined by an admin or group creator may affect your ability to connect events to a given group. For more on this, read our guide to Managing Group Roles and Memberships.

Can I invite non-Humanities Commons members to be a part of my group?

Members of Humanities Commons groups must be members of the platform. You can easily invite individuals to first join Humanities Commons and then your group. You can do this directly in the group. On your group’s page, look for a tab on the top bar that reads “Send Invites.” The first option in this menu is to invite users from outside the network. Simply enter the e-mail address of the person you’d like to invite, and we’ll take care of the rest. To invite individuals to join the platform without inviting them to a group, enter their e-mail addresses in the “Spread the Word” section at the top right of the Humanities Commons home page.


How do I create a group?

After you’ve logged in to the Commons, click on the Groups tab; then, select the Create a Group button next to the group directory. Enter a group name and group description. Then, click Create Group and Continue. This will lead you to steps where you can choose whether to enable discussion boards; select whether your group will be public, private, or hidden; determine the member roles in your group; create a group avatar; and invite members to join your group.

Creating a group is covered in more detail in this guide.

How can I change my group e-mail notifications?

When you join a group, you have the option to subscribe to e-mail notifications. In your e-mail settings, you can choose a default subscription for groups you might join in the future.

You can also update settings for groups of which you’re already a member under Your Groups. Select your preferred option:  No E-mail, Weekly Summary E-mail, Daily Digest E-mail, New Topics E-mail, All E-mail. Then, select Save Changes.

screenshot of email settings page


You can also update your notifications for individual groups on the Groups Directory.

Screenshot of groups directory with link to change email setting below "leave group" button.

You also have the option to change your notifications on a group page.

screenshot of group page with  link to change email status.

These are covered in more detail in this guide.

Why do unwanted characters appear in my post, comment, or page?

If you copy text from Microsoft Word or from an e-mail and paste it into Humanities Commons, you may sometimes see unwanted characters. There are a few things you can do to ensure that only your text (and none of the strange characters) appears in your post:

If you are posting to a space that gives you the choice between composing in Visual or Text modes, select the Text editor. After pasting in the content you would like to add, you can switch back to Visual mode to modify the formatting.


If you do not see the Visual and Text tabs, you will need to convert the document to plain text before pasting it into the Commons. To do this, first save your original document. Then click File > Save As. Choose a new name for your file to differentiate it from the original. This step is very important. It prevents you from losing your original, formatted work. Once you have selected a new file name, change the selected file type from Word Document to Plain Text (.txt) using the Format field. Open the new text file and copy and paste your work from there.