Collaborative writing

Collaborative writing

The term collaborative writing refers to projects where written works are created by multiple people together ("collaboratively") rather than individually. Some projects are overseen by an editor or editorial team, but many grow without any of this top-down oversight.


The following list gives one possible overview of the evolution of computer-based collaborative writing (opinions may vary as to the order, number, and details of the steps).

#File exchange via removable media (sneakernet) or email
#File exchange via shared file server
#Revision control software providing check-in/out
#*List of revision control software
#Enterprise information portal, Content management system
#Online services delivered via Application Service Provider (ASP) or Software as a Service (SaaS)

Practical approaches

In a true collaborative environment, each contributor has an almost equal ability to add, edit, and remove text. The writing process becomes a recursive task, where each change prompts others to make more changes. It is easier to do if the group has a specific end goal in mind, and harder if a goal is absent or vague.

A very good method of discussion and communication is essential, especially if disagreements arise.

Successful collaboration occurs when each participant [or stakeholder] is able to make a unique contribution toward achieving a common vision or goal statement. Supporting this common goal are objectives that have been generated by each of the participants. It is important for each participant to "feel" as though he or she has a significant contribution to make to the achievement of goals. It is also important that each participant be held accountable for contributing to the writing project. [Brown, C. A., 2007, East Carolina University]


Collaborative writing projects include:
* Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
* Everything2
* Galaxiki
* H2G2
* Ilf and Petrov
* Kozma Prutkov
* New Worlds Project
* Nicolas Bourbaki
* One Million Monkeys Typing
* Orion's Arm
* Trillium Report
* Replica Magazine

Similar and related concepts

* coauthoring
* collaborative authorship
* collaborative editing
* collaborative fiction
* collaborative learning
* cooperative writing
* group writing
* joint authoring
* massively distributed collaboration
* shared document collaboration
* team writing

Further reading

Ashton, Susanna M. "Collaborators in Literary America, 1870-1920." New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

External links

* [ Make Literature Online: A project to create a fiction book by collaborative writing effort of the online community members]
* [ Analysing interactions during collaborative writing with the computer: an innovative methodology]
* [ Wikibook on Collaborative Writing of LaTeX Documents]
* [ - Another collaborative fiction site that also pays writers for every published chapter]
* [ - A collaborative writing site where stories can be written, rated, and deleted by anyone]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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