Collaborative Writing

Collaborative authoring or writing can be defined as activities performed by more than one writer to produce a document or a set of documents.

Collaborative writing is a complex process as it involves more than one writer. Hence, it important to design a system or a methodology that effectively supports the collaborative process and also reduces the confusion between the writers. Apart from creating a process for collaborative writing, the other factors that have to be considered are:

  • Understanding the group dynamics.
  • Deciding the roles and responsibilities for the different individuals involved in the project to avoid conflicts.
  • Brainstorming for ideas, suggestions, and troubleshooting tips.
  • Identifying techniques for sharing and communicating information/ideas.
  • Identifying the comfort level between the team members.
  • Improving the social skills such as communication, team spirit, and cooperation.
  • Educating the team members about the different factors that influence the collaborative writing process.
  • Identifying and using an appropriate revision control system so that multiple writers can work on such projects.
  • Identifying an alternate process—-just in case the existing process fails.
  • Dealing with important ideas generated in group meetings.
  • Identifying social and work related practices and culture when writers from diverse cultures and location work together.

Collaboration Strategies

Writing is collaborative when more than one writers are involved in writing, creating, or updating a document. In this method, different writers may be responsible for different chapters of a document. The most visible collaborative efforts are the pre-writing and the post-writing phases of the project. The three most common coordination strategies for collaborative writing are:

  • Parallel
  • Sequential
  • Mixed

Each methodology is based on how the work is divided among the people and has its own advantages and disadvantages.


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