Collaborative authorship

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Template:No footnotes Collaborative authorship is the act of co-creating and consulting within a group of people to create a project, in which the author of the project is the group itself rather than a single person.

Contents

Perspectives on collaborative writing

From an academic perspective, there is anxiety about collaborative authorial endeavours. Academics are concerned with being able to discover who wrote what, and which ideas belong to whom (York 76). Specifically in the humanities collaborative authorship has been frowned upon in favor of the individual author. In these instances, antiquated ideas of individual genius influence how scholars look at issues of attribution, tenure, etc. Collaboration scholars Ede and Lunsford note, "everyday practices in the humanities continue to ignore, or even to punish, collaboration while authorizing work attributed to (autonomous) individuals" (357).

In other disciplines, such as the sciences, collaborative writing is the norm. In social sciences, such as library science, collaboration has increased dramatically over the past 25 years (Bahr & Zemon 410, 412). Alice Harrison Bahr and Mickey Zemon’s study of academic journals came to the conclusion that “as evidenced in the sciences and social sciences, collaboration encourages author productivity and enhances article quality. As research becomes more quantitative, collaboration increases” (417).

In an artistic sense, as Lorraine York notes, “Critics and readers feel a persistent need to ‘de-collaborate’ these works, to parse the collective text into the separate contributions of two or more authors” (7).

Wikipedia (and, indeed, all wikis) is an example of collaborative writing. This collaborative effort is both the strength and the weakness of Wikipedia, because it enhances article quality, but at the same time it occasionally creates scepticism about the authority of the information.

References

  • Ede, Lisa, and Andrea A. Lunsford. "Collaboration and Concepts of Authorship." PMLA 116.2 (Mar. 2001): 354-69.

See also

Further reading

  • Ashton, Susanna M. Collaborators in Literary America, 1870-1920. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

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