Hypothesis is an open-source platform that adds social annotation to any text. Perusall is a proprietary reading platform that has a built-in social annotation capability. Both are used to enable social reading capabilities in educational contexts, like when students read texts assigned by teachers. We are providing this information to help you understand the similarities and differences between the two tools, and help you make informed decisions about which will work best for you and/or your school.

While Hypothesis and Perusall have some similarities, there are several key differences in each tool’s capabilities, and in how they work for different users, including students, teachers, and/or people using assistive technology.

Where the tools diverge most significantly is in how they function: Hypothesis adds annotation to documents. Rather than bringing a text to Hypothesis, you bring Hypothesis to a text. In order to annotate with Perusall, you purchase or upload content in its platform.