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Strategies for Identifying Collaborators & Writing Collaboratively
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Strategies for Identifying Collaborators & Writing Collaboratively



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  • Collaboration is not working separately on the same paper.Collaboration is not getting together before the deadline and combining each person’s work into one paper.
  • Research, literature review, learn publication process
  • More eyes = more ideasSort of are peer-reviewers for each other before even going through the process with the journal or book publisher.
  • Feedback from your writing partners, the peer-reviewers, the editor, etc.
  • More minds, more eyes, more efficient writing, better work, better scholarship.
  • Depending on the uniqueness of your topic, you could really stand out.
  • Before you can find someone, you have to ask yourself a few questions.
  • To find a collaborator, you first need to know yourself. What are you interested in?
  • The BeastMason, OhioKings IslandApril 1979 – longest, tallest, fastest wooden roller coaster in the worldToday, still the longest, lasting over 4 minutes, and sprawling over 35 acres.2 underground tunnels2 hillsBIG loopDON”T PICK A TOPIC THAT YOU DON’T CARE TO KNOW MUCH ABOUT
  • Past colleagues or current
  • CELEBRATE!(fireworks, not explosion)


  • 1. Strategies for Identifying Collaborators & Writing CollaborativelyRachel VacekHead of Web ServicesWrite Your Scholarly Publication Month EventJuly 9, 2012
  • 2. Collaboration…is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals… by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus., July 8, 2012
  • 3. Going from I to We
  • 4. Quick SurveyWho has written something collaboratively? Who is considering finding a partner for publication?
  • 5. OutlinePart 1: Benefits of collaborative writingPart 2: Challenges of collaborative writingPart 3: Finding an appropriate collaboratorPart 4: Etiquette of writing collaborativelyPart 5: Miscellaneous Tips
  • 6. Part 1: Benefits of Collaborative Writing
  • 7. Strengthen interpersonal skills
  • 8. Learn new things together
  • 9. Gain new perspectives
  • 10. Get an opportunity for personal feedback
  • 11. Enhance quality of scholarship
  • 12. Get exposure and stand out
  • 13. Part 2: Challenges of Collaborative Writing
  • 14. Poor Communication• Conflicting ideas• May not be starting in the same place• Lack of shared vision• Duplication of efforts• Different underlying purpose for writing• Different priorities
  • 15. Personality Differences• Competitiveness• Determined vs. indecisive• Lack of trust• Hard-worker vs. less motivated• Not dedicated to task
  • 16. Do not collaborate for collaboration sake. Only do it if it will benefityou, strengthen your publication, and you want to do it.
  • 17. Part 3: Finding an appropriate collaborator
  • 18. WHAT do you know? • What projects are you working on? • Are you doing anything interesting, cutting- edge, unique? • What are your interests and passions? • What do you research or keep current on? • Do you bring a unique perspective to a topic?
  • 19. What excites you?
  • 20. Take 3 minutes to write downa few IDEAS or TOPICS that you might want to write about
  • 21. WHO do you know?• Who do you know in the field that shares… – Your job responsibilities? – Your research interests? – Your passion for a particular topic?• Who do you have respect for or admire?• Who are your project partners?
  • 22. WHO do you know?• Find someone whose skills complement yours – Broad overview vs. attention to details – Technical vs. non-technical• Partner with colleagues who have published before – Familiar with publishing process – Can bring unique perspective – Possibly get additional name recognition – A commitment to a respected colleague can help with motivation and task completion
  • 23. Take 3 minutes to write downsome NAMES of PEOPLE you know that you might want to write with
  • 24. Part 4: Etiquette of writing collaboratively
  • 25. BEFORE the writing process begins• Do you know where you are going to publish?• Have your collaborators published with that publisher or editor before?• Manage expectations - talk about things, don’t assume• Determine how you are going to communicate: – In-person – Online (Skype, chat) – Phone
  • 26. BEFORE the writing process begins• Be sure everyone understands his or her role and what contributions each will make• Understand each person’s institution’s values on collaboration vs. solo publication• Understand your colleague’s motivation for writing
  • 27. BEFORE the writing process begins• Set a schedule with deadlines and check-ins• Determine: – Who the “lead” is on the publication – Who will be the contact with editor or publisher – Who will do the research, literature review, etc. – Who will write the abstract, outline, citations, put it in one voice, include images, do major editing
  • 28. DURING the writing process• Be prepared to take over some of the writing and or editing if one or more of your collaborators is unable to do so• Set up schedules for updates and revising drafts• If you have writer’s block, take a break and come back to it later• Do your part• Motivate one another
  • 29. The END of the writing process• Double check all info and citations• Decide order of author names for your publication• Be considerate when editing your collaborators’ work – they put heart and soul into it• Try to put the entire publication into one voice – it shouldn’t read as if it were written by separate people with different writing styles• Edit, edit, edit
  • 30. AFTER publication
  • 31. AFTER publication• Support one another after article is published• If process was positive: – look for future topics to collaborate on – bring in other new authors with similar interests• If process was negative: – do not write with that person again – keep professional relationship positive
  • 32. Part 5: Miscellaneous Tips
  • 33. Miscellaneous Tips• Use Google Docs/Drive or a similar asynchronous web-based word processor• Be consistent in the way charts and graphs are prepared, or images are captured• Be realistic and understanding of people’s time and talents• Don’t be afraid to ask for help or offer help among your collaborators
  • 34. Miscellaneous Tips• Be upfront with your publisher – If you can’t meet a deadline • Ask for an extension • See if your article can be published in a later issue
  • 35. Thanks!
  • 36. Photo Credits•••