My experiences to date with reports, proposals, and conference paper writing leave much to be desired. Generally I’ll work on a draft in Word with track changes on, email that to the next person who will accept/reject changes then add more with track changes on, etc. There are at least two problems with this:
- We are all working serially, instead of in parallel, which takes more time
- Version control is a mess – files are saved as some mix of date, latest author’s initials, vX.X at the end, etc.
I have enough nerd-tacular friends to know a little about Github and software development, especially open source software. Collaborative coding is built in to the process. When will this become the norm for collaborative writing of research papers? What could this look like?
I just submitted my first full length journal article, on which my advisor has graciously listed me as first author! There was about four of us working on it, and we went through the same inefficiencies described here. If you have any experience or suggestions on collaborative writing and editing, please leave a comment or get in touch! Thanks.