How do roles work on a site?

You can manage user roles for your site in the Admin Panel area of your site. Simply click Users in the left-hand column of your Admin area to add users and assign them different roles.

Administrators have access to all the administration features; editors can publish posts, manage their posts, and manage others’ posts; authors can publish and manage their posts; contributors can write and manage but not publish their posts; subscribers can read comments, make comments, and receive newsletters.

You must have at least one administrator, but the remaining roles are not required, and there is no limit on the number of people who can occupy each role.

If you choose to create a group site, you can assign these roles to different members as part of the group or site creation process. See also our detailed guide to managing group roles and memberships.

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.

What is the difference between a group and a site?

Whether it is best for you to use a group or a site to share information on Humanities Commons depends on your communication goals. If you would like to communicate with colleagues who are interested in a certain field, topic, or professional issue, you may want to start or join a group. Groups facilitate interaction between group members, since members can participate in discussions, collaborate on docs, and share files. Participation in groups is limited to Humanities Commons members. You can read more about groups in our ‘Creating a Group’ guide.

While groups offer a great way to connect with members on topics of interest, sites are by default open to the public and allow you to engage with a community beyond Humanities Commons. Sites can be a helpful platform for outreach, crafting a professional presence online, circulating information, reaching a broader audience for your research or project, and posting longer reflections. You can explore this in more detail in our ‘Creating a Site or Blog’ guide.

Can I edit my comments?

Comments provide a useful record of ongoing conversation on a blog post, forum topic, or other element of Humanities Commons. As a result, the platform values transparency and to emphasize that online discussions and publications are always evolving. Where possible, we encourage you to follow up with a new comment rather than editing existing comments, especially where others may already have responded.

However, we understand that you might wish to fix a typo or make other small revisions to a post or comment. You may edit your comments on forum topics by clicking the “Edit” link above the relevant text. Make the correction you desire and then click the “Submit” button below. The time stamp on your comment will be updated to reflect your modification.

Editing a comment on a blog post requires the site’s admin to edit it on your behalf; contact them directly for help.