Groups, Users, and Roles in Mercury

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About Mercury Groups

Groups serve as buckets for content, and are often associated with an academic unit or office. Separate groups for sub-units can be added as needed. For instance, a research center could have its own Mercury group separate from its parent school or interdisciplinary research institute.

However, the main purpose of groups is not to sort or categorize content, but to control who can edit (and delete) content.

Users are associated with groups and may have varying permissions within each group; it is possible to have different roles in different groups. All Mercury users are members of one or more groups (at a minimum, your major affiliation plus the Hg Training group).

Consult the groups directory to request membership from a group's manager. If none of the existing groups apply to your needs, please use the Group Request form to submit a request for a new group, or the Update Group information form to send correct managers for a group.

A tutorial is available for managing group memberships in Mercury.

About Mercury Roles

Each Mercury group has different sets of permissions for different users. Each permissions set is collected into a "Role", of which these are the main types:

  1. Author
  2. Publisher
  3. Manager
  4. Administrator

A tutorial is available for changing a user's Mercury role.


Almost everyone you add to your group will have this role. An author can create content, but cannot make that content live (i.e. Publish it) and often cannot edit other people's content or feeds. This role is mainly useful if your group wants to:

  • have some users moderate content before it is made public,
  • allow people from other units to create draft content for your group, or 
  • allow people from other units to automatically add their events/news to your group/calendar.

Warning: if you make someone an Author in your group, they can publish your group's items if they are a Publisher in any other group.


Publishers can create, edit, and publish content and feeds. They can also act as moderators for Author-created content.


There can be only one...manager of a group. Similar to being an "Owner" of a web hosting site, it allows Mercury support staff to know who is primarily responsible for a group. They have the same powers as an Administrator, but can also bulk remove or modify more than one user at a time using "Operations".


This role can add new members to a group, and can allow people to become "Authors", "Publishers" or "Administrators" for a group.

Groups and Users Sub-Topics