Collaboration is defined as an act or process of working together on a project or some intellectual activity. But what is the importance of collaboration? The world is increasingly becoming globalised on issues like environment protection, control of terrorism, international business, learning etc. In such changing circumstances, even the scientific explorations have become collaborative. Thus, in this global world, role of the Internet tools is to enable collaboration among people. From this perspective chat, news groups, wikis all are some basic tools for collaboration.
Collaboration involves both communication and sharing of ideas. Modern day science, to certain extent, has become collaborative. Today, you may find a number of research papers coauthored by many people staying at geographically diverse places. Each collaborative project has several social, political, ethical and technical issues that are to be addresses at the start of the project itself.
Some of the key questions a distributed collaborative project needs to address are: Will cumulative wisdom emerge from the collaborative efforts? After all a collaborative project also requires good investment. Several research papsers have been written about the broad set of success measures and factors that are responsible for successful collaboration. You may refer to further readings given at the end of this Unit for more details.