How do you use eMargin?

Since its launch eMargin has been used in many research projects and classrooms (both physical and virtual) all around the world, as well as a few other non-academic uses (for example).

We would love to hear your stories about how you’ve made use of eMargin in your own work. If you’d like to share your experiences with us you can use our feedback form or drop us an email ( You response will be confidential, but if you would like to be featured on our website let us know!

Send us your feedback…

Recent Downtime: September 2018

We would like to apologise for the recent downtime of eMargin.

This was caused by a server configuration error which led to two different versions of the database being active. One was active up to until 16 August 2018, the other was active between 16 August 2018 – 20 September 2018.

We took eMargin offline to give us time to repair the damage and merge the two databases. We have done all we can to restore missing data and combine duplicated records. However, you may still notice (what should be) small changes to some of your data in eMargin, such as names of groups that you may have changed during that period being reverted back to their original names.

Additionally, if you have saved URLs in the form /text?id=0000, /group?id=0000 or /ann?id=0000 outside of eMargin, you may find that these URLs no longer work. You will still be able to access your content by navigating through the eMargin pages. LTI and sharing links are not affected.

If you notice any inconsistencies that can’t be easily rectified please contact us at rdues @

We have since put measures in place to prevent this error occurring again.

Again, sorry for the inconvenience caused and we hope you are happy to continue using eMargin.

Recent Changes: Recent Changes

We’re delighted to announce an update to the eMargin home page. We’ve added some more information to the list of texts, displaying your recently accessed texts, and the latest changes made to them. For example:


This will make it easier to find texts you’ve been working with and checking what your collaborators have been up to.

A list of all of your available texts can still be accessed via the My Texts menu, and of course via their groups.

eMargin used in European election campaign

The Spanish political party Podemos has been making extensive use of eMargin in its European election campaign. The party uploaded draft policy documents to our system and invited the public to comment on them using eMargin’s collaborative annotation, discussion, and tagging features. The comments, from thousands of participants, have helped to shape the policies and future direction of this new political party.

While we don’t have any affiliation with Podemos or any other political party, we’re excited to see eMargin being used in this way! We believe that our tool has great potential in gathering views from a large number of participants in an open, democratic way.


A warm welcome to all new eMargin users!

We’re pleased to see that eMargin now has over 3000 registered users!

If you’re a new user, why not complete our feedback form to let us know what you think of the tool and what features you’d like to see? Many of the current features were suggested by eMargin users and we’ve got lots of new features planned!

You can also ‘like’ eMargin on Facebook to keep up with the latest news.

VLE Connectivity

Recently we’ve been working on using the IMS LTI specification to allow Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) to link to eMargin. We’re happy to announce that this system is now available.

It enables a student to move seamlessly from the VLE to eMargin with just one click. An account is automatically created for them (no need to login or sign up) and they are added to a group along with others from the same module. You can find more details in the user guide.

It’s currently in a beta testing stage and we are looking for volunteers to use it in real scenarios with groups of students.┬áIf you are interested please email to get connected.

Groups and User Guide

GroupPreviously we required users to ask for permission to create groups. We have now opened up the group system to everyone. Groups are often the best way to share texts with other people. So if you wish to work on a text with others, please create a group and invite your collaborators to join in.

We have also updated our user guide with instructions on uploading texts and creating and sharing groups. This replaces our Instructions for Teachers which were previously available on the blog.

eMargin in Ariadne Magazine

We’ve written an article on our experiences developing eMargin, which is featured in the latest issue of Ariadne: the web magazine for information professionals. The article describes the background to the eMargin project, the features of the tool, and its recent integration with virtual learning environments. It also reports on some of the ways in which other researchers are using eMargin.

You can read the article at

Search Improvements

We’ve improved our search system to allow you to search for annotations┬áin full texts and groups.

eMargin splits long texts into sections. Now you’ll find an extra option in the search pop-out to specify whether to search the section you are working on or the whole text (at the bottom of the screenshot below).

On a group’s page, you’ll find a Search option in the left-hand menu.

In both cases, you can search for highlighted text, comments, colours, tags, who has contributed to the annotation and when contributions were made.