CPSC 689/602--Spring 1997

Computer-Supported Cooperative Work

Paper Report

Title: Issues in the Design of Computer Support for Co-authoring and Commenting
Author: Christine M. Neuwirth, David S. Kaufer, Ravinder Chandhok, James H. Morris
Citation: CSCW 90 Proceedings, October 1990
Reprinted in: Readings in Groupware and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work - Ronald M. Baecker, pp. 537-549

A typical role of groupware applications is as an environment that supports co-authoring and commenting. This paper describes a design analysis for a co-authoring system.

Very little is known about the social aspects of long-term collaborative writing relationships. Despite limited knowledge about social aspects of collaboration, one of the social aspects of collaborative work that is only partially understood is coordination.

Often most CSCW tools do not support sufficient levels of coordination. This can be resolved by allowing a definition of social roles. Defining roles reduces the coordination problem, by specifying proper functions. Three commonly occurring social roles are co-author, commentator and reader. These roles can operate on objects such as base-document, suggested revision, public comment, directed message, private comment and history. Operations are performed on these objects and these activities may be creation, modification, deletion etc..

Some of the desirable features are:

Based on these desirable features, an editor (PREP) was designed. It approaches the issues of collaboration and co-authoring by emphasizing on communication, planning and organized annotation.

Report prepared by: Ajay Kumar Gummadi Email: ajay@ee.tamu.edu
Discussion date: March 05, 1997            Report date: March 07, 1997