A list of Collaborative Authoring Tools available to University of Newcastle Researchers

Collaborative authoring

Collaborative Authoring tools allow teams to author documents together. They range from wikis, which are web-focused, to tools like Google Docs and Microsoft Office Live, which focus on desktop publishing.

Wikipedia maintains an article on collaborative authoring and tools.

Intersect has prepared a paper on workflows and the various pitfalls of collaborative authoring (PDF 491 KB).

What is it and how do I get it? When should I use it? What caveats or obstacles are there? *Support?

Confluence

Intersect hosts Confluence.

You can contact Intersect through the Universities eResearch Computing group (ARCS) to get your own wiki space on our servers.

You can also purchase  Confluence from Atlassian, try it out online or purchase & download at Atlassian's website

Confluence is a user-friendly and flexible wiki with a lot of available plugins.

It's a good choice for most applications and is offered by Intersect as a hosted service.

Unlike some wikis Confluence is not free to use, so if you want to host it on your own server or need to make heavy use of it there is a cost involved.

External (Intersect)

Google Docs

A free web-based alternative to MS Office provided by Google.

Google Docs allows the user to share their files with other users and read and edit the files simultaneously.

It also allows you to:
- view your document revision history & roll back to any version,
- publish documents online as web pages and post documents to your blog and
- download documents in Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF, HTML or Zip to your desktop and email your documents as attachments.

Google docs requires users to sign up for a Google Gmail account.

Editing your document in Google Docs can only be done when you are connected to the internet. For off-line use the files need to be downloaded to your computer and edited in Microsoft Word for example if it is a 'word.doc'

There may be some compatibility issues with MS Office documents if your MS Office Software is not up to date.

Consideration should be made to periodic copying of the documents for back up & recovery purposes.

Confidential documents or private information such as non-de identified data should not be placed on Google Docs.

End User

Office Live

A free web-based version of Microsoft Office.

Office Live  allows users to share their files with others and read and edit the files.

It has a revision history and allows the user to roll back to previous versions.

It integrates well with the desktop version of MS Office 2010, to open and save documents in the cloud.

Office Live requires users to register for a Live account.

Files can be managed & edited within MS Office Live only if the user is online, for off-line use the files need to be downloaded before the user goes off-line. Than the files can be edited on a local editor

Consideration should be made to periodic copying of the documents for back up & recovery purposes

Confidential documents or private information such as non-de identified data should not be placed on Office Live.

End User


* Support  Source of Support for Service
UoN Supplied Deployed, managed and supported by the University and provided to Researchers at no additional cost.
UoN Supported Deployed, managed and supported by the University with some additional costs to the Researcher, Centre or Faculty.
End User The item is end user supported.The University is not in a position to provide technical support or assurances that the product will work within the University environment.
External(Organisation) Deployed, managed and supported by an organisation external to the University. Additional costs may apply.