This appendix presented several issues related to collaborative authoring of technical documents. First an overview of the writing process was presented. This overview included a discussions of several writing strategy models. Next, a review of technical writing was presented, including the processes involved in producing a technical document. The issue of collaboration was presented in general terms. The social and political aspects of collaboration were identified. Collaboration as it relates to group writing was presented along with a discussion of technical group writing. Next, the results of several studies on group authoring were detailed. This was followed by a issues related to the design of a computer-based system that would support collaborative authoring. General design issues were discussed. Lastly, several design specific design models were presented.
There are many issues related to the topic of collaborative authoring and system design that are areas of further study. One area of further study is how user of a collaborative authoring system function when the system fails. Another area is the cognitive constraints imposed by a collaborative authoring system. This relates to the issues of reading and editing on a computer screen versus performing these tasks on paper. Additional study of group dynamics is another area. Issues such as the substitutability and interdependence between group members, that is a given person performing multiple roles. Dealing with 'group think' is another group related topic. Another group issue is that of group building theory. This pertains to building an effective group for a particular task. Social skills that relate to collaborative authoring such as negotiation and cooperation and their influence on the writing process are another study area. The topic of social practices and culture and how they add to the diversity of collaborative writing practices is an area of study as well. Supporting the various forms of communication among co-authors was mentioned briefly in this paper, however, it is critical to collaboration and writing. Determining what writing strategies and collaboration issue are pertinent to particular document types is a valuable endeavor. A final area of further study, to be mentioned here, is the notation of re-usable text and copyright infringement.
The topic of collaborative authoring is complex and multi-faceted. The cognitive requirements of this task strongly suggest the need for computer-based support. Designing a system that effectively supports the collaborative writing process while reducing the authors' cognitive burdens is a challenging task.