Use tools that ease collaboration

Much of modern day science is collaborative, resulting in typescripts that pass through many hands. Coauthors may work on the same draft concurrently or write different sections that are then circulated among them. Insist that everyone "track changes," a feature that will clearly mark suggestions and revisions, as well as identifying their source should it be necessary to revisit them.

There will also be times when you will want to write-protect a document with a password so that permanent changes cannot be made. Even so, always save a backup copy of the original draft before sharing it among collaborators.

When several individuals independently suggest revisions, it used to be necessary to manually transfer such changes from paper to computer. Most word

PEANUTS by Charles Schulz

PEANUTS by Charles Schulz

© United feature Syndicate, Inc. Reprinted with permission.

processing programs have the ability to merge hidden text annotations and revisions from different file copies of the manuscript onto a single master copy

The ability to send even lengthy documents as attachments to email messages makes collaborative typescript preparation easier than it has ever been. You can correspond rapidly with colleagues around the globe, seek and give advice and suggestions, and work together more closely than has ever been possible. Even when you work on collaborative writing projects with the person across the hall, you can send drafts back and forth between team members for comment, and can receive and incorporate those comments electronically.

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