Typical Seminar Workflow

NB: Our documentation pages still need to be updated for CATMA 7. In the mean time, please see What’s New and Changed in CATMA 7.

This document will serve as a guide to structuring your seminar workflow using CATMA Version 6.0. CATMA has a special workflow that can save you time in a seminar/lecture setting. For example, it allows you to add members to your project in bulk and automatically assign certain resource permissions to them.

STEP 1: Create Your Project

First, log in to CATMA. You will then be directed to your CATMA home screen, where you will be presented with two options: Create New Project and Join Project. Create your project by selecting Create New Project

image shows tutorial for seminars using CATMA, annotation tool

Type in a name and a description of your project, and confirm by clicking OK.

image shows how to create a new project, typical seminar workflow

You can edit the name or description at any time by clicking the pencil icon. 

image shows a new project in the annotation tool

Click on the project tile to open the project.

image shows an opened project, typical seminar workflow CATMA


If someone is helping you with your project, you can add them directly as a Partner. This will allow them to do almost everything that you, as the owner, can do (see the Roles and Permissions table for details on the permissions of individual roles).

Under the Team section, simply click the plus icon at the top right of the Members panel and select Add Member.

Image shows how to add a member to a project via using add a member method

In the Member field, start typing the name / username of the CATMA user you’d like to add and select them from the resulting list. (Note that members you would like to add to your project must already be registered with CATMA in order for you to find them.)

Next, select their role from the drop-down menu and confirm by clicking OK. The new member will now be displayed in the list. 

image shows how to invite a member to the project, typical seminar workflow

It is also possible to add multiple participants to your project at once. We will revisit this concept in STEP 3.

STEP 2: Create Project Resources

Once you have created your project and (optionally) invited your partner(s), you can create project resources – such as documents and tagsets – that can be shared with other participants.

Add Document(s)

To add a document, under the Resources section, click the plus icon at the top right of the Documents & Annotations panel, then select Add Document

image displays how to add a document or annotation collection

A dialog will guide you through the process: 

  1. Upload a document or paste a URL
  2. See a document preview
  3. Define the document language and optionally add metadata like author and description
Image shows how to add dcuments

Once completed, the new document(s) will be displayed in the Documents & Annotations panel.

Add Tagset(s)

You need at least one tagset if you want to annotate documents in CATMA. Tagsets contain the definitions of the tags that you want to assign to a text. You can think of a tagset as a set of categories, or a taxonomy. In a seminar/lecture setting, a single tagset is typically shared and used by all participants.

To create a new tagset, under the Resources section, click the plus icon at the top right of the Tagsets panel. In the dialog that opens, type in a name and confirm by clicking OK.

image shows how to add a tagset

If you would like to, you can switch to the Tags module and create some tags in the new tagset now, or you can do so at a later stage.

Add Annotation Collection(s)

In CATMA, annotations are stored separately from source documents, within so-called Annotations Collections. In a seminar/lecture setting, participants typically each have their own collection – allowing for both individual work, and later, combined or comparative analysis.

Annotation Collections can be created automatically to save time. How to do this is detailed in the subsequent steps.

Should you wish to create collections manually, simply select one or more documents in the Documents & Annotations panel, then click the plus icon at the top right and select Add Annotation Collection

image shows how to add an annotation collection, typical seminar workflow

Enter your collection’s name and confirm by clicking OK

image shows how to add an annotation collection in CATMA

The new annotation collection(s) will now be displayed beneath the selected document(s).

STEP 3: Add Members to Your Project

You can add members in bulk and in ‘real time’ via an invitation code. Click the three-dot menu at the top right of the Members panel and select Invite someone to the Project.

image shows how to add invite a member to rhe project CATMA

In the dialog that appears, you have the option to automatically create annotation collections for every invited member – just tick the box labelled Create one collection per Document and joined User and select the relevant document(s).

The advantage of doing this is two-fold: firstly you don’t have to create a potentially large number of collections manually one-by-one, and secondly permissions for the selected document(s) and new collections are automatically assigned to the invitees (the Observer role for the selected document(s) and the Assistant role for each invitee’s own corresponding collection).

Select a role for the new member(s) from the drop-down menu. This role will be assigned to the invitees for all other resources not mentioned above, that is: any document that wasn’t selected, as well as tagsets and others’ collections. If you are using CATMA in a seminar/lecture, we suggest that you select the Student role (see further explanation below). Finally, click on Invite.

image shows settings for inviting members members to the project, CATMA typical seminar workflow

A six-digit invitation code will now be displayed at the top of the dialog.

image displays invitation code for inviting adding members to the my project, CATMA

Supply the intended new members with this code. NB: Wait until everyone has joined – the invitation code is only valid while the dialog is open.

Direct the participants to navigate to their CATMA home screen. There they will have the option to select Join Project.

Image shows how to join a project

Direct the participants to insert the invitation code in the dialog and click on Join.

image shows where to inset project code to join a project

As participants join the project they will appear under Users. You may also see notifications about the automatic creation of collections, if applicable. Note that the name of the individual collections is generated based on a random color, as well as the username, to make it easier to distinguish between them.

image shows example of invited members via invitation code, typical seminar workflow

Once every intended new member appears under Users, click on Stop Invitation. The new members and their default roles will now be listed in the Members panel.

NB: At this point, first the project owner and then everyone else needs to synchronize, because any newly created resources currently only exist in the owner’s copy of the project.

To synchronize, click the yellow bell icon or select Synchronize with the team from the three-dot menu – both can be found in the top right corner of the project module.

image shows yellow synchronization bell, CATMA
image shows an example on how to commit changes in CATMA

Please see the Compact Manual to learn more about synchronizing.

As mentioned previously, we suggest that you invite participants with the Student role. If you do this, they will immediately be able to see the selected document(s) as well as their own annotation collection(s) (if the checkbox for the automatic creation of annotation collections was checked), but nothing else. 

Image shows settings on how to invite others members people students to the project

Therefore, if you would like to give project members access to a shared tagset and the contained tags, you as the Owner will need to assign those permissions for each member individually (see step 4). Alternatively, you could select a different role – for example Observer, which would mean that invitees will be able to see all other resources.

Note that the role selected in the invite dialog is the default role that will be assigned to the member for all resources. Additionally, they will receive the Observer role on selected documents and the Assistant role on any annotation collections that are automatically created for them, if those roles are higher than their default role. For details on the permissions of the different roles, see the table on the Roles and Permissions page.

Please also note that if you have added your members as Students directly using the Add Member method, instead of inviting them using the code, they will not be able to see documents nor have any resource permissions. The automatic granting of permissions is a special behavior of the invite flow.

image ssows how to add a member in CATMA, typical seminar workflow

STEP 4: Assign Permissions for Tagsets

If you have prepared a shared tagset for everyone to use, simply navigate to the Members panel and select Resource Permissions from the three-dot menu. 

A dialog will appear where you can change the roles of your members for individual resources. If a member is missing from the table, add them by clicking on the hamburger menu icon at the top right. Next, double click on the role name at the intersection of the resource and the member, and select a new role from the dropdown list. For example, assign the Observer role to all members for the tagset, allowing them to see and use it.

image shows resouece and permission menu, typical seminar workflow

Changing Members’ Roles

You are able to change your members’ roles at any time. To edit the role of a member or remove a member, navigate to the Team section and select the member(s). Then, select either Remove Members or Edit Members from the three-dot menu.

image shows member menu in CATMA

When choosing Edit Members, a dialog will appear with an option for you to select a new role.

image shows settings on how to update members

Note that this will change the role of the member(s) on all existing resources in the project. The selected member(s) will also be given the new role for any newly added resources.

If you want to control permissions at an individual resource level, you should use the Resource Permissions dialog as explained in STEP 4.

Cite this article as: Larissa Kranewitter-Call and Malte Meister: “Typical Seminar Workflow”. In: CATMA, published: 16 July 2021, last updated: 07 September 2021, last accessed: <today’s date>, URL: https://catma.de/documentation/roles-and-permissions/typical-seminar-workflow/