What is the Annotations tool?

Annotations, powered by Hypothesis, allows you to empower your site participants to write digital annotations on any public online resource. Note takers can share their annotations with a group or keep them private. Instructors and students can write question prompts to encourage analysis and discussion. Researchers can keep track of key findings from articles and share them with collaborators. Users can also easily search their annotations and organize them.

Note: Add Annotations to your site from the Plugin Tools list in Site Settings > Manage Tools. For instructions to add this or any other tool to your site, see How do I add a tool to my site?

Warning: Currently, Annotations will only open publicly-available websites and documents. We caution against making copyright and other protected content public for annotations.

Learn more about how to safely use copyrighted materials by visiting the UVA Library Copyright Resources page (opens new window).

Annotations Features

Within the Lessons tool, instructors can:

  • Embed a publicly available link to a webpage or PDF for participants to annotate.
  • Choose a publicly available document from Google Drive for participants to annotate.

Students can:

  • Select text within an embedded resource to annotate.
  • Respond to other participants' annotations in embedded resources.
  • Embed images and videos (e.g., from YouTube) in annotations.
  • Organize their annotations with tags.


To access this tool, select Annotations from the Tool Menu in your site.

Get additional help.

For help using features in Hypothesis, visit the Hypothesis Support site (opens new window).