How to Highlight and Annotate Text on CogNet

The MIT Press has integrated the open annotation platform with CogNet. To use this new feature, sign up for a free account by visiting

Once you have created and logged into your account via CogNet, you can comment, highlight text, and save your notes on CogNet’s books, journals, and references, as well as share those notes with other CogNet subscribers who have accounts.

Logging into your account on CogNet

On CogNet, when reading a book, journal, or reference, you will see three icons stacked vertically near the top right-hand side of the window in which you are viewing the text. Clicking on the top (left-facing arrow) icon opens and closes the sidebar on the right-hand side of the viewing window. Also, by clicking on the arrow icon while dragging your cursor left or right, you can resize the sidebar.

When the sidebar is open, you will have the option to sign up for or log into your existing account. Click on the “Log in” text at the top of the sidebar as illustrated below.

Enter your username and password, then click on the “Log in” button. (See illustration below.)

How to Use on CogNet

As mentioned earlier, the top icon toggles the sidebar view. The second icon, which displays an eye, toggles viewing of highlights that you have added to any text. Clicking on the bottom (page) icon will open the sidebar, displaying a textbox where you can write notes about the page that you are currently viewing. This icon changes to a pair of opening quote marks if you select text with your cursor. Upon selecting text, “Annotate” and “Highlight” buttons will also appear underneath your selection. (See illustration below.)

If you click on that “Annotate” icon, the sidebar will open, displaying a new annotation textbox, and showing the text that you are annotating above it. (See illustration below.) While in the sidebar, by clicking on the “selected group” name at the top (also highlighted in the illustration below) you can toggle whether you want to view either public or specific group annotations.

You can format your annotation’s text with the basic text editor option in the toolbar above the text box. Options include: bold, italic, quoted, inserting a link, image, or mathematic notation, as well as formatting as an ordered or unordered list. You can preview your annotation before posting it by clicking on the “Preview” button on the right-hand side of the text editor toolbar.

Once you have created an annotation, you can either post it so that only you can view it, or you can post it to a group, such as “Public,” by clicking on the downward-facing arrow next to the “Post to” text (illustrated below). Once you have selected the group, click on the “Post to” button and your annotation will be saved to the location that you have designated.

In the sidebar, there are also tools that allow you to edit, delete, reply to, and share your annotations. Click the pencil icon to edit annotations. You can reply to an annotation by clicking on the left-facing arrow icon. Additionally, you can share your annotation on social media websites or via email by clicking on the “Share” icon. To delete an annotation, click on the trash can icon.

After clicking on the trash can icon, a window will display asking if you are sure you want to delete that annotation. Click “OK” to confirm, and your annotation will be deleted.

You can search annotations for specific text by clicking on the magnifying glass icon at the top right-hand side of the sidebar, typing in the text that you want to find, then hitting “Enter.” To perform another search, click on the black “Clear Search” icon that will appear above your search results.

Besides searching your annotations, you can sort them by newest, oldest, or location by clicking on the “Sort by” (up and down arrows) icon to the right of the search icon. To the right of that is the “Share this page” icon. By clicking on that, a link displays that you can share so that others can view your annotations. Lastly, you can access your account settings, log in and out, get help, or view all of your annotations from within your account, by clicking on the icon that looks like a person next to the “Share this page” icon.

For more help using, visit