Chapter 3 Collaboration at a Distance

Exploring History, Communication, Trust and Socialization

In: Critical Collaborative Communities

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Abstract

This chapter takes a personal narrative approach to exploring an academic writing partnership. The authors are based in different countries (Erik lives and works in the UK and Georgette lives and works in Trinidad and Tobago) but, through a shared academic history and a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous approaches, they have maintained an academic writing partnership. Collaboration can be difficult in the online context, especially when the partners are located in different parts of the globe where there are differences in time, culture and expectations. In this case, Erik and Georgette also have different disciplinary backgrounds (in the natural and social sciences) and have been ‘trained’ to privilege certain research methods and styles of writing. In investigating collaboration at a distance, Erik and Georgette examine four key qualities of a successful collaborative relationship: history, communication, trust and socialization. They argue that successful academic writing is a learned behaviour that requires deliberate action and suggest that, when working at a distance, this is maintained through regular contact; setting short term goals and having a critical friend who can push you in joint and solo projects.

Critical Collaborative Communities

Academic Writing Partnerships, Groups, and Retreats

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