Collaborate with writing

This section will introduce you to a variety of tools to help you write with others.

Online communication tools Top

Email

  • Make sure what you write via email is clear, respectful and does not misrepresent others or misinform your recipient. Your QUT email address and your signature is an indicator of your academic reliability and authority. Include the link to your personal QUT ePrints page in your email signature as this can prompt email recipients to investigate your publications.

Voice

Speaking to a collaborator over the phone can quickly clear up the small confusions and misinterpretations that proliferate in emails. Internet based phone services (VoIP) can save money for long distance calls and may have video capabilities.

  • Skype offers free calls between Skype users. It can be installed on mobile phones, computers and laptops. You can also buy credit to make phone calls to landline or mobile phone users who do not utilise Skype.
  • Viber is an iPhone application that allows you to make free calls and SMS to other Viber users.

Talking in groups

Many telephones and VoIP services allow conference calls allowing a group of collaborators to discuss their research together. You may also be able to use video conferencing from your desk or mobile phone. QUT offers videoconferencing facilities at campuses for communicating across two or more locations.

Collaborative work spaces Top

To write together you need to share and be able to comment on the thoughts and words of your collaborators.

Wikis

Wikis allow you to create, edit and use content together via an ordinary web browser. It is like a web page that you can edit yourselves. You can control who can view, contribute or edit and attach files or images and data.

  • QUT Wiki is a secure and powerful workspace that can be used as a complete workspace for your team, including calendars, chat, checklists and news pages. There are many other wiki 'farms' where you can create a wiki for your group. Some offer free access (usually limited) with advertisements, or you can pay for a premium wiki.

SharePoint

  • QUT currently uses Microsoft SharePoint as a tool for collaboration. This tool creates a single web based environment that integrates with MS Office applications. It is used for a variety of different purposes to coordinate and communicate within groups and includes version and access control. Currently it is only available to QUT staff but if you are collaborating with a staff member access can be arranged.

Google Groups/Docs/Calendar

  • Google has a variety of tools which can be used for collaborative writing. With Google Groups you can create groups for discussion lists and sharing documents. Google Docs allows you to create, share and edit documents, including spreadsheets, presentations and forms. Google Calendar is a free web based calendar (Google Apps offers a subscription service that allows you to share schedules and appointments). Google Groups, Docs and Calendar are all available when you are using your mobile device and you just need to sign in with the same account that you use for Gmail or to manage your Google Scholar preferences.

All rounder Top

  • Wiggio aims to incorporate many of the communication tools that have been detailed in this section. Use Wiggio to form or join multiple groups for virtual meetings, share files and documents, email and message, and share calendars and to-do lists.