This page explains the different features of this platform and how they technically work, as to support you at best in using GEM Nexus. If you cannot find the help you need, do not hesitate and contact

Section A: Structure of the website

Home, Groups, How it Works

Section B: Help for all registered users of GEM Nexus

1 Registration & Personal Information
2 Commenting & Rating
3 Following the Groups

Section C: Help for Group Members

1 Group Space

2 GEM Groups Area
3 Editing in GEM Nexus
4 Agenda
[meetings around the globe]

Section D: Help for Group Managers


Section A: Structure of the website



  • The Agenda on Nexus displays GEM related events and (online/offline) meetings around the globe, shared by group members. See Section C-4 for help on using the agenda.
  • The News & Announcements section is currently edited by the GEM Secretariat. If you would like to share something through this channel, do write us.

Groups in Nexus are global component consortia, working-groups, regional programmes and other groups working on GEM. They have their own private group space, and global groups share their work, ideas and questions. Group help-groupsmembers are those individuals actively working in/on one or more of these groups. They are invited by the coordinator(s) of the group. At the moment membership of a group is thus not 'open'.

  • Each group has its own space, which has a private back-end for group collaboration and a public profile.
  • For groups working on global themes, the public profile contains information about the group, the members and a post-section through which the group shares latest developments and asks the wider community for feedback. For groups working on regional themes, there is no post-section, so that commenting always takes place ‘on a global level’ and themes are not discussed at two places at the same time.
  • The private workspaces of most 'global' groups are shared, which means that groups can ‘look’ into each other’s workspaces. The spaces of regional groups and the WG on tectonic regionalisation are not shared.
  • Individuals that are not part of a group cannot become a member, but can comment on the work the group does, responding to a 'post' and can follow the group by subscribing to the group. How that works is explained in Section B.


This is the FAQ page of GEM Nexus and helps you get started.

Section B: Help for all registered users of GEM Nexus



a) General
When you register, you become a member of GEM Nexus and are able to post comment, rate comments of others and in the future you will have access to more features. The personal information you fill in, is not disclosed. When people click on your picture or your name that appears in your comments, they are redirected to an author page which contains the information about you that you would like to share, and can from there contact you. To directly contact members of GEM Nexus, you can use this link, changing the user-name:

If you have not received a confirmation email or password change email, please check the SPAM folder of your email.

b) Group Members

Members of groups can register themselves on GEM Nexus. The site administrator should then be advised by this person or by the Group Manager, so that this member can obtain access to the group space.

One of the core features of GEM Nexus is interaction and knowledge exchange through comments of the wider community on the work being carried by global GEM groups. Groups working on GEM global components, working groups and other overarching global groups publish 'POSTS'. Such as the one in this image called 'Deliverable 2.1'. This post contains a PDF that is the document that the group would like to get feedback on.

The mechanism for interaction/discussion is fairly easy, any user that is logged in can comment on the post. In a comment, one can include text and links to other websites for references. Whenever a user sends a comment, his or her name is displayed, the date/time and the organisation the member is affiliated to.

Users can also rate the comment of others, by clicking on the green or red buttons. The ratings will help a group to understand to what extent a comment should be considered.

You can follow the posts of the different global groups, plus the comments that users have added and their ratings through email notification or an RSS feed.

A) Email Notification: You can subscribe to the groups and receive an email when a new post is created for the community, and when a comment is published as a response to a post. You can do that in your PERSONAL SETTINGS.

feedicon.gifB) An RSS feed is a news stream that updates you on the latest developments of the page you are 'subscribed' to. In order to be able to read and use RSS feeds, you need an RSS Reader. Some of these use the web, others you install on your own computer and the aggregate all your different RSS feeds. Examples: Feedlooks (web),  NetNewsWire (Mac OS X), FeedReader (Windows) and Google Reader (web).


Section C: Help for Group Members



A group space has a public and a private 'face'. The public face displays group information, all members of the group and -when applicable- the posts that the group put out there as announcements or in order to receive feedback. The private side of the group space [the backend] contains at the moment three sections: a Virtual Disk for version controlled file sharing, a section for Notes editable by the entire group, A Discussions section, and a section for development of Posts for the community.

to private space group space

1.1 Virtual Disk
The virtual disk is a file sharing and archiving system that works as the online Dropbox website that you might be familiar with. It has a flat structure, because you move up with links and arrows. Group members can create and edit new folders, upload and download files.

private folder For groups with shared back-ends, there is the option to secure important documents in a private folder.

file upload

File upload

File upload is quite simple; you can browse all the files to upload from your

computer.  Most internet-browsers also allow you directly drag files from your hard-disk into the File-Upload screen.

Moving around and deleting files

  • You can move files around using the cut and paste buttons.
  • You can delete files if needed. Those files end up in a trash-can. All group managers and the site administrator are able to look into the trash-can and 'save' files that ended up there by mistake.

File versioning
You can save new files over old ones, to always have the most recent one pop-up, but still keep the history of the old ones. It works as follows:

File Versioning

  • You click on the pencil behind the file to edit the file.
  • You can choose to upload a newer version of the file
  • It is important to add a short description of what has changed in the file, so one understands the change
  • There is no need to need to adjust the name, because older versions are kept in the sytem's 'history'
  • The history shows who edited the file, when that happened and how the changes are described

** Some advise about the Virtual Disk: to go back up and see all main folders (and files), click on the 'Virtual Disk' tab

1.2 Notes

A workspace has a Notes section, for minutes or other kind or all other kind ofnotes notes for the group to be stored.

A note can be used to keep other groups updated on latest developments in the group.

All group members can edit the note, but can also delete it; hence be careful.

Categorising Notes
When you edit a Note, you can add a TAG. This allows you to divide your Notes into different categories. For example: MINUTES, AGENDA's, etc.

1.3 Discussion Wall

discussion wallIn editing to notes, there is a group discussion wall, that can help you and your group members to share short messages, questions or other issues.

The look and feel of the discussion wall is as you are used to from LinkedIn and allows for quick chats and sharing of opinions and ideas.


1.4 Posts
As explained, groups working on global themes are able to post documents, announcements and discussions online, in order to ask for specific feedback from the community at large from around the globe. See the various examples on NEXUS to understand how posts are used. Note that there is an important difference between the GEM Forum, where 'background' discussions can be held about many themes that are related to GEM and this post section, which is meant for direct feedback on a specific file, deliverable or discussion on standards and tools.

Group Members can develop a new post, which will have the state 'DRAFT' when it is saved. In this state, other members of the group can work on it. Not contemporary, because the first one 'locks' the post, so that there is no confusion or risk that changes go unsaved. Once the group members agree that the post is ready, they can 'submit' it for publication, and the Group Manager can decide to approve the post.


Group Members can filter posts based on the different states a post can be in: DRAFT, PENDING (submitted to group manager for approval), PUBLISHED or ARCHIVED. A group member can decide to retract a post from the pending state, in order to put it back in a draft state. However once the post is published, it cannot be edited anymore, unless retracted by the Group Manager.

The form for creating a post has the following fields:

- TITLE: A 'catchy' title that captures the contents well.
- ABSTRACT: This is shown on the front page of the group and on the home page of GEM Nexus.
- ATTACHMENT: A single file or zip-file can be attached, as the 'central' object for feedback or discussion.
- BODY-TEXT: The main text. 
- IMAGE MANAGEMENT CONTROLS: In order to upload images, one uses these controls. After that, images can simply be displayed in a row on the right, or one can embed them where desired in the text through the editor.



The GEM Groups Area is only visible to members of 1 or more groups, and was exclusively developed to support inter-group collaboration.

  • The Discussion Wall supports discussion between regional and global groups, but also between groups working on different thematic areas, etc. Use it to ask for feedback, post requests or ideas.
  • There is a Shared Docs section
  • There is a Glossary Tool, to support joint development of a GEM Glossary. We propose GEM groups working on global thematic themes to submit the definitions they use in the context of GEM; all others can comment on them.

When you add a definition, you are the only one who can edit it. Others can comment. You add information on....
- If helpful an IMAGE that will appear on the side of the definition
- A VARIANT, or in other words a synonym for the definition (when applicable)
- The definition itself; the BODY TEXT



The editing box of GEM Nexus is the Tiny MCE (WYSWYG) Editor.  The image on the right explains the various buttons.

Some further explanation on the following features:

  • image icon IMAGES
  • media icon MEDIA
  • icon LINKS


Images in GEM Nexus can only be inserted when embedded in a folder. Hence the image management control tools are needed to upload images of choice. The images that can be found in other folders on the GEM website, can be used if useful.

Videos, but also slideshows, can be embedded into Notes or when useful into Posts.

Links can be inserted to internal pages on GEM Nexus, to email addresses, or to external pages.


Important is to also fill in the second tab of the link-form: ADVANCED, so that you decide whether the viewer opens the link in the same window or in a new window (usually preferred).

advanced link

If you would like to link in a page to sections below, to prevent people from having to scroll a lot; you can use the anchor option. You insert 'anchors' at the exact point you want people to arrive at. Then in the index you insert a link, and instead of inserting a URL, you select the anchor you have defined.

























Meetings around the globe

All group members can add meetings, events, presentations and conference calls to the agenda by clicking on the day of the meeting with the left mouse-button. All events will appear on the homepage when they are upcoming.

  • Fill in the Title of the Event, the Dates and in the Body Text all other information.
  • Do not forget to add an email address or telephone number so that others interested in the meeting or call can contact you.
  • Make clear whether the meeting is open to all, or is invitation-only


Section D: Help for Group Managers

Apart from the above there are a few more issues to explain for group managers. Group managers are the ones coordinating the group space on GEM Nexus. There can be more than 1 group manager, to facilitate the processes.

GROUP INFO Group Managers are the ones that edit the public profile page of the group.They can change the text and the image. They do that by clicking 'edit' in the upper right hand corner. Once they are done, they can see what it looks like by clicking on 'view public profile'.

WORKSPACE MESSAGE Group Managers can also edit in the group page a field called 'workspace message'. The message typed here appears on the homepage of the private workspace and can be used to highlight an upcoming deadline or something else that should not be forgotten.

PUBLISH/APPROVE POSTS Group Managers of 'global' groups are the ones that publish Posts to the community that have been prepared by the group. In the private working space they can check if there are posts 'PENDING', which means that a post is waiting for a final check and can then be PUBLISHED. Group Managers can also decide to archive a Post (with the attached discussion), and to move it to another section of GEM Nexus.

TRASH CAN Group Managers can check out the trash-can of the Virtual Disk. It works as in Dropbox:

Any trash1 group member can move things to the trash can, but they are not really deleted. They are just made trash2'invisable'. The group manager can see the trashed (hidden) files by clicking the button 'show trashed files'. Once that is clicked, you active 'trashcan mode', which means that all hidden files are shown, until you close this mode. When you have found a file that was deleted by accident, you can restore it. Then it will be put back in the folder it came from. When you are done checking on files that were trashed trash 3and/or have managed to restore the files you needed, you should click 'hide trashed files' in order to close the trashcan mode.