The 9th International Workshop on Collaborative Editing Systems

GROUP 2007
Sanibel Island, Florida, USA
November 4, 2007

Goals and Objectives

The Web is becoming a global read-write information space where billions of people share their knowledge and resources. The need for supporting mass collaboration is manifested by the increasing popularity of wiki and weblog systems. One of the reasons of the success of these collaborative tools is that they do not require any specific skills for publishing and editing. These systems enable a community of users to collaboratively build work of arts such as Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. However, these tools provide limited functionalities for collaborative authoring of shared documents. Collaborative editing field of research investigates different aspects for supporting groups of people in the authoring process of a set of shared documents over a computer network.

The design of collaborative editors includes both technical and social issues. Among technical issues we mention consistency maintenance, group undo, access control, and awareness. Issues such as concurrency control are also studied in traditional areas such as databases and distributed systems. However, collaborative editors (and groupware in general) demand that we additionally consider human factors when designing concurrency control schemes. Over the years, the collaborative editing community has explored numerous novel consistency control techniques such as operational transformation, multi-versioning and locking. A significant attention was given to optimistic replication approaches since they allow users to simultaneously edit any part of a shared document at any time. Other features of collaborative editing such as undo, group awareness and access control mechanisms were also studied.

Collaborative Editing Systems workshop builds on the success of previous seven workshops at GROUP'99, CSCW'00, GROUP'01, CSCW'02, ECSCW'03, CSCW'04, GROUP'05 and CSCW'06. The main focus has been adjusted every year according to the organizers' understanding of research progress and trends in the community. The focus of the was consistency maintenance algorithms. The CSCW'00 workshop emphasized usability issues. The GROUP'01 workshop focused on people and organizational issues in group writing. The CSCW'02 workshop concentrated on usage scenarios of collaborative editing. The main topic of the ECSCW'03 workshop was the integration of collaborative editors into general information infrastructures. The focus of the CSCW'04 workshop was the enhancement of familiar existing single-user systems with collaborative editing techniques. The objective of the GROUP'05 workshop was to apply/expand collaborative editing technologies to broader areas/applications. The CSCW06 workshop focused on how to model operation intentions and maintain semantic consistency in the context of specific group writing tasks.

This year the workshop will concentrate on web-based collaborative editing technologies and applications. The evolution of the web and the continuous expansion of network ubiquity facilitate the collaboration between people from different places and therefore a growing interest for web tools supporting collaboration is manifested. For instance, various wiki systems and web-based collaborative editors developed by major software vendors such as Google (Google Docs) attracted the interest of a large number of users. Moreover, a new generation of browsers that allow data to live on the web and to be accessible offline in the browser is coming up. Next year Microsoft, Mozilla and Apple are expected to release enhanced versions of their browsers adapted for web applications. In this context we envision that new collaborative web tools that support both online and offline editing will emerge. Existing collaborative tools such as version control systems, wiki systems and real-time editors currently considered for different aspects of collaboration will be joined as a single web-based environment. We look for contributions regarding concurrency control, awareness and conflict handling solutions that could be adapted for the collaboration over the web for both real-time and asynchronous modes of communication. We are also interested in solutions adapted for mass collaboration gathering contributions of a large user community. Empirical studies on usage and requirements of collaborative web-tools as well as applications of these tools for various domains such as e-learning and software engineering are welcomed.


We invite submissions addressing issues related to collaborative editing. Interesting topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Web-based collaborative tools
  • Consistency maintenance in group editors, undo mechanisms, correctness and performance
  • Intention preservation, semantic consistency, constraints, conflict management
  • Usability and empirical studies of group editors and human factors
  • Social and organizational aspects of collaborative editing
  • Application of group editing techniques in E-learning, software engineering and other domains
  • Infrastructure of collaborative editing systems

Intended Participants

The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers from various backgrounds having interest in collaborative editing. We invite contributions from areas such as distributed computing, information systems, human-computer interaction, and social science. We also encourage participation from users who are in need of large systems offering facilities for collaborative editing to discuss their requirements.

Participants should submit a 4 to 6 page working paper pertaining to their research area for presentation and discussion during the workshop. Papers should be formatted using the standard ACM SIGCHI format and should include an abstract of no more than 150 words. Accepted papers will be published in a special issue of Collaborative Computing in IEEE Distributed Systems Online. All submissions should be sent to Dr. Claudia-Lavinia Ignat at with a carbon copy to Dr. Pascal Molli at by September 17, 2007. While each participant is encouraged to submit a position paper, other participants will be accepted if space permits.

Important Dates

Paper submission : September 17, 2007
Notification of acceptance : October 8, 2007
Workshop : November 4, 2007