Authors of Social Papers choose how visible they want their paper to be. For more information about that, read this. For instruction on how to create your own Social Paper and other related topics click here.

If the paper has been set to “Public,” anyone with access to the internet can read it. All public papers will appear on the Social Paper Directory, and on your “My Papers” tab (https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/members/{memberName}/papers/

If it’s private, the author must invite you to be a reader, which will generate a notification – either through email with a URL or as Private Message sent to you through the Commons. Once you know where the paper is, you can follow it by clicking on the “Follow” button. Alerts regarding changes to the paper will be emailed to you, just like other Notifications on the Commons. If you cannot find the paper, ask the author if you’ve been added to the reader group.

Adding Comments to a Paper

The site is an active Writing Desktop. You’ll be able to comment right away. If you’re signed in to the Commons, your comments will appear without moderation; comments sent from outside require author approval.

Commenting can be done in two ways –for the paper as a whole or by paragraph . You cannot post a comment in direct relation to a word or sentence.

Commenting on the Paper as a Whole

If you want to reply to the paper as a whole, you can post a comment at the bottom, beneath “Responses”:

Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 9.21.09 PMThat’s probably something you’ve seen before.

Commenting on a Paragraph

Commenting at the paragraph level is more interactive.  As you scroll down from paragraph to paragraph, you will see either a plus sign or a number appear in a bubble to your right. Like this:

plus bubble


Number bubbleThe plus sign indicates that no one has yet commented; numbers tell you how many comments have already been posted. When you click on the bubble, the paragraph will be highlighted and you will see a place to post your comment:

Who Can Post Comments

On Public Papers if you are already logged in, you can simply post your comment. If you are not logged in, you will be prompted to do so. If you change your mind about adding your comment, simply press the “Cancel” hyperlink to leave the comment space. Once you press “Post Comment”, you cannot edit it.

Once you post, you’ll get a green pop up box saying “Thank you!

Comments from logged-in Commons members are posted immediately,  so there’s no need for you to check in with the author. If you are not logged in, your comment will be moderated by the author.

Private Papers can only be commented on by logged-in members with whom the author has shared the paper.

Replying to Existing Comments

In addition to commenting on the paragraph, you can reply to an already-existing comment:

Replying yo a commentNote that replying to an already-existing comment is only possible if the previous commenter was logged in.

Orphaned Comments

After you have left your comments, the original author may publish a new draft which omits one or more paragraphs. If this happens,  the comments from the original paragraph will appear where that paragraph was previously located. This is not easy to see in the text, but as you scroll you may notice a number bubble that will allow you to see the comments left there:

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 8.51.08 PM


If you have any feedback about this exciting new feature, please email the Community team: support@cunycommons.zendesk.com . Happy commenting!

Social Paper Help Pages

  1. Social Paper
  2. How to Create a Social Paper
  3. How to Share and Follow Social Papers
  4. How to Comment on Social Papers (current page)
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