Tag Archives | collaboration

How to Create a Social Paper

Welcome to Social Paper! This is one in a series of posts that explain how to use Social Paper tool on the Commons. For information on Reading, Commenting on and Sharing Papers, click here.

Step 1: Create New Papercreatnewpaper

If you’re ready to start your paper, the fastest way to do so is through the profile drop-down menu. Just scroll down to My Papers, then move your cursor to and click Create New Paper.

If you use the main page navigation or the drop-down menu on the top left side of of the page,  you will be taken to the Papers page (Social Paper). To create your paper, click Create New Paper.


Step 2: Give Your Paper a Title

Wait for the paper to load all the way (remember, we’re still in beta), then click on the row where Title appears replacing it with the title of your paper. Your title will automatically become part of the URL of the paper.


Step 3: Start Writing

After you’ve given your paper a Title, click on “Just Write…” and do just that!starttypingeditingtools





You can apply some rich text formatting to  your paper by highlighting your text.  You have the option to make it BOLD, italicized, strike through text, create a hyperlink, add a blockquote, or change the text to H2 or H3.

Add a Block


When you are typing and hit enter, a pop-up will appear that suggests to “Add a block.” Click this to add multimedia, a horizontal line, or a page break. You can insert media from a file on your computer or media library, or insert from URL. Adding a horizontal line will break up your text within the page, and adding a page break will create a new page for the content you are able to add.


Step 4: Update the Paper Settings

decriptionTo access your paper’s settings, click on the gear icon on the bottom left side of the paper.

Add a short description of your paper, which will appear alongside your paper in the Social Paper directory (If you leave this box blank, an excerpt will be used instead).

Decide whether you want your paper to be Public or Private in regards to reading and commenting. If you select Private, you can add readers who are members of the CUNY Academic Commons, who will receive alerts when there is activity on your paper.

You can also associate your paper with one or more groups by entering the group’s name.

Remember that anyone you’ve listed as a reader will receive notifications when there is activity on your paper, such as updates and comments.

When you have selected your settings, click on the gear icon again to toggle the Setting panel off so that you have more room for your writing.

Step 5: Add Tagstags

Include tags that are relevant to your paper (click on the tag icon displayed below in Step 6) so you can organize your work and allow your readers to find it more easily. In the example to the right, if you are writing a book review for your MALS 745 class and the book is on digital computing, you could include these as tags.

Step 6: Save & Publish Your Paper

The final step is to save and publish your paper. You have the ability to save your paper as a draft or publish it.  Your paper will not be visible to others while it is saved in Draft form.

While this is the last step in this post, we realize that these papers are living documents with the strong potential to be edited, re-saved, unpublished and saved as a draft, and republished. Do not feel you have to publish your work until you are ready. That said, the point of the Social Paper is to get feedback, which is a very important part of the writing process — so be social and share!


Social Paper Codex Pages

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


cerg3The Commons can be a place for research collaboration and reflection, and a repository for research findings, where researchers assess and publish findings, satisfy grant expectations, and keep the momentum going for further studies.

Groups provide great functionality for collaboration, and group Web sites provide ways to archive articles, and satisfy grant requirements, publish findings, aggregate resources, and posts assessments.

Examples include:


  • CERG – Childrens Environments Research Group






Planning a conference? The Commons offers great tools to help with publicity, organization, and registration before your conference. And during the conference, your website and groups on the Commons serve as social hubs, where participants can meet and discuss issues, access information, post presentations, and aggregate tweets.  And once the conference is over, the social network you’ve created provides a way for people to stay connected and keep the conversation going, as well as a space to archive what went on.

Getting Started

  • Create a WordPress site on the Commons. Here you can centralize all information about your conference, publish agendas and presentations, advertise, and provide a place where members can blog and comment on other posts. You might want to select a theme with a slider that will showcase presentations and create a buzz.
  • Post it on the Events Calendar
  • Optionally, create a group or a number of groups on the Commons. This can help with organization, provide an addition place for discussion, and launch a permanent space for like-minded colleagues to meet. Groups can provide a powerful social layer to your conference. Tools include discussion forums, announcement boards, file uploads, docs, email notifications, and reply by email functionality.
  • If you have a group and a blog – consider attaching them for better integration. Learn more about groups and group blogs.
  • Optionally – get a “CUNY.IS/[yourSiteName]” quick link for your conference site or group (or both). These easy-to-remember, short URLs help make the information about your conference easy to find.
  • Use the Announcements group to Call For Proposals, and for publicity and reminders about your conference.

Map your Domain

Does your conference already have its own domain name? Or does your department or program have a place where events typically reside? No worrries. You can map that address to your site on the Commons. This provides a great way to take advantage of the great functionality available at the Commons while still maintaining a connection to your traditional domain. Users can either type in your domain’s URL or the Commons URL to access the conference site.

The Commons is open to faculty, staff, graduate students, and graduate alums (we do make some exceptions and create some temporary accounts). If your conference audience does not fall into these categories, you can still use the Commons, but keep in mind that Non-Commons members cannot join groups. They can view your conference’s public site and post comments on posts and pages, but they will not be able to subscribe and create posts.


Curious to see how it worked out for others? Check out these past CUNY events:

Bronx Ed Tech Showcase




Lehman, Hostos and Bronx Community College use the Commons to host their annual Bronx EdTech Showcase. The site gathers proposals via online forms, posts agendas, showcases presentations, provides directions, and archives past conferences.


The CUNY Games Festival

Another great example of how the Commons can be used to host a conference, The CUNY Games Festival used its site to publish its program, recognize sponsors, archive presentations, link to live streaming, provide directions, food and lodging information, and a blog for reflections and wrap-ups. The Commons homepage had a slider promoting the festival, with links to the site and registration page.



The Commons lets you create a free website for your conference, and offers a bunch of add-ons that may help both before, during, and after your event. Hope to see your event on the Commons!

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