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December 05, 2011

Thing 18: Create and Share a Document Using GoogleDocs

Most people who have worked on a collaborative project will tell you the same thing: working with others is not easy. The logistics of circulating a document amongst a team, let alone agreeing edits and /or revisions, can be a mammoth task. There can be endless emails, meetings and a muddle of attachments with “track changes”, or a jumble of saved files with various different names, and no way of knowing which is the most up-to-date. Things can quickly descend into confusion and tempers can flare. Collaboration is not just about producing a good conference paper or publication; the connections we make on these journeys are just as important, and can last our entire careers, helping to facilitate other projects and allowing us to make further connections. It is therefore vital that we conduct ourselves professionally and make the process as smooth as possible, which will not only improve the quality of the work we produce, but will impress the people we work with—potentially leading to other, progressively bigger projects.

GoogleDocs offers researchers one of the most convenient ways to collaborate on a document, without the back and forth of emails. Once you’ve created a document, simply click the blue “share” tab at the top of the page. In the Sharing Settings pane click “change” and select “Anyone with the link”, and then save. This will allow you to add the email addresses of those you would like to share the document with. Once your colleague receives the file, they simply have to click on the link to open the file and start editing. You can then edit the file together in real time, and GoogleDocs will track the revisions you both make, saving them automatically.

How to collaborate using GoogleDocs:

For Thing 18 we are asking you to create and share a document with GoogleDocs. To get started use the step-by-step instructions provided by Google:

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