Empirical Study on Collaborative Writing: What Do Co-authors Do, Use, and Like?
How do people work when they are collaborating to write a document? What kind of tools do they use and, in particular, do they resort to groupware for this task? Forty-one people filled out a questionnaire placed on the World Wide Web. In spite of the existence of specialized collaborative writing tools, most respondents reported using individual word processors and email as their main tools for writing joint documents. Respondents noted the importance of functions such as change tracking, version control, and synchronous work for collaborative writing tools. This study also confirmed the great variability that exists between collaborative writing projects, whether it be group membership, management, writing strategy, or scheduling issues.