AskDefine | Define coauthor

Dictionary Definition

co-author v : be a co-author on (a book, a paper, etc.)coauthor n : a writer who collaborates with others in writing something [syn: joint author]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. An author who collaborates with another to write something


  1. To write something in collaboratation with another author

Extensive Definition

The term collaborative writing refers to projects where written works are created by multiple people together (collaboratively) rather than individually. Some projects are overseen by an editor or editorial team, but many grow without any of this top-down oversight.


The following list gives one possible overview of the evolution of computer-based collaborative writing (opinions may vary as to the order, number, and details of the steps).
  1. File exchange via removable media (sneakernet) or email
  2. File exchange via shared file server
  3. Revision control software providing check-in/out
  4. Enterprise information portal, Content management system
  5. Wikis
  6. Online services delivered via Application Service Provider (ASP) or Software as a Service (SaaS)

Practical approaches

In a true collaborative environment, each contributor has an almost equal ability to add, edit, and remove text. The writing process becomes a recursive task, where each change prompts others to make more changes. It is easier to do if the group has a specific end goal in mind, and harder if a goal is absent or vague.
A very good method of discussion and communication is essential, especially if disagreements arise.
Successful collaboration occurs when each participant [or stakeholder] is able to make a unique contribution toward achieving a common vision or goal statement. Supporting this common goal are objectives that have been generated by each of the participants. It is important for each participant to "feel" as though he or she has a significant contribution to make to the achievement of goals. It is also important that each participant be held accountable for contributing to the writing project. [Brown, C. A., 2007, East Carolina University]

Similar and related concepts

Further reading

Ashton, Susanna M. Collaborators in Literary America, 1870-1920. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.
coauthor in German: Kollaboratives Schreiben
coauthor in Dhivehi: Collaborative writing
coauthor in Spanish: Escritura colaborativa
coauthor in Russian: Соавторство
coauthor in Tagalog: Tulungang pagsusulat
coauthor in Chinese: 協同寫作

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

advertising writer, annalist, art critic, author, authoress, belletrist, bibliographer, collaborate, collaborationist, collaborator, columnist, compiler, compose, composer, copywriter, creative writer, critic, dance critic, dash off, diarist, drama critic, dramatist, editorialize, encyclopedist, essayist, formulate, free lance, free-lance, free-lance writer, ghost, ghostwrite, ghostwriter, humorist, indite, inditer, knock off, knock out, literary artist, literary craftsman, literary critic, literary man, litterateur, logographer, magazine writer, man of letters, monographer, music critic, newspaperman, novelettist, novelist, novelize, pamphleteer, penwoman, poet, prepare, produce, prose writer, reviewer, scenario writer, scenarist, scenarize, scribe, scriptwriter, short-story writer, storyteller, technical writer, throw on paper, word painter, wordsmith, write, writer
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