Tracking changes in collaborative writing: Edits, visibility and group maintenance

Jeremy Birnholtz*, Steven Ibara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Systems for collaborative writing have long captured the attention of CSCW researchers, but have only recently come into widespread use. One issue in designing and understanding these systems is awareness of others' actions in a document. On the one hand, making edits and changes visible can improve collaborators' knowledge of who has made edits and what has changed in a document. On the other hand, studies of large scale editing systems such as Wikipedia have suggested that the visibility of certain edits can incite social conflict in groups. In this interview study, we aim to understand how people perceive and consider the potential impacts of their own and others' edits as they write together. Results suggest that edits embody not just changes to a document, but also social messages that have group maintenance implications. Many participants reported that they carefully consider how to make and explain edits so as to minimize social conflict.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCSCW'12 - Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Pages809-818
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 19 2012
EventACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW'12 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: Feb 11 2012Feb 15 2012

Other

OtherACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW'12
CountryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA
Period2/11/122/15/12

Keywords

  • ambiguity
  • awareness
  • change awareness
  • change tracking
  • collaborative writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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