Collaborative editing

What kind of data should the tool work with?

HEURIST ( is an extremely flexible, end-user oriented, web-based data management system designed specifically for Humanities data. Developed since 2005, it has been in active use across many projects since 2009. It is available both as a free web service for researchers (hosted at the University of Sydney Data Centre) or for installation on a physical or virtual server (Open Source on gitHub).

Researchers can design, create, manage, analyse, visualise and publish their own richly-structured database(s) through a simple web interface, without the need for a programmer(s). Quite complex databases can be built in a few hours by borrowing structures and vocabularies published by other users. Databases can be designed and built incrementally, as existing data are not affected by changes in structure. Databases created by Heurist are stored in MySQL with a repeatable structure facilitating independant access by other software.

Advanced features include record linking, graph structure, drill-down facet searches, rule-based queries, custom reports, linked map-timelines, network visualisation, normalised spreadsheet import, crosstabulation, XML feeds, XSLT transforms. The team provides initial email and skype assistance for project setup at no cost, and special customisations at modest cost.

Code license: Open source, GNU GPL, GNU GPL v3
Last updated: 13 Oct 2018

MyIndicators ( is a digital, easy-to-use tool allows researchers, educators, students or anyone, to build their own tailored indicators (e.g. goals, strategies, parameters, survey, questions, calories intakes, alcohol consumptions or quantified self in terms of training, mood tracking or sleeping quality etc.)

Code license: Closed source
Last updated: 2 Sep 2016

Scripto is an open-source tool for community transcription of documents, images, and multimedia files. Registered users are permitted to view digital files and transcribe them with an easy-to-use toolbar. The tool includes a versioning history and editorial controls to make public contributions more manageable, and supports the transcription of a wide range of file types.

Code license: Open source
Last updated: 11 Jul 2016

PressBooks lets you and your team easily author and output books in multiple formats including: epub, Kindle, print-on-demand-ready PDF, HTML, and inDesign-ready XML.

Last updated: 17 Jun 2016

DM is an environment for the study and annotation of images and texts. It is a suite of tools, enabling scholars to gather and organize the evidence necessary to support arguments based in digitized resources. DM enables users to mark fragments of interest in manuscripts, print materials, photographs, etc. and provide commentary on these resources and the relationships among them.

Last updated: 1 May 2016

Online Digital Asset Management (DAM) and collaboration platform for business use. Offers user management, custom branding and password-protected folders.

Code license: Closed source
Last updated: 27 Mar 2016

Chicken (originally called Chicken of the VNC) is a VNC client, or Virtual Network Computing, that allows you to display and interact with a remote computer while displaying it on a remote screen.

Code license: GNU GPL, Open source
Last updated: 23 Feb 2016

Google Docs is an online environment for editing and sharing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, drawings, and tables. Google Docs documents can be public or private, or shared with anyone with a Google account, e-mailed, or downloaded in various formats, including conversions to PDF and other formats not identical to the original or to the proprietary format used at creation. Designated people with whom items are shared can be given permission to comment or edit the files, thus providing a quick way to collaborate on creating and editing documents and presentations.

Code license: Closed source
Last updated: 26 Jan 2016

Pundit is a semantic annotation and augmentation tool. It enables users to create structured data while annotating web pages.

Annotations span from simple comments to semantic links to web of data entities (as and, to fine granular cross-references and citations. Pundit can be configured to include custom controlled vocabularies. In other words, annotations can refer to precise entities and concepts as well as express precise relations among entities and contents. Read more on semantically structured annotations

Last updated: 30 Dec 2015

Microsoft Sharepoint is an environment for sharing documents with collaborators, using granular permissions. Sharepoint can tightly integrated with Microsoft Office (e.g. Office documents can be saved directly to Sharepoint, some Sharepoint installations allow web-based editing using the cloud-hosted Office 365. Sharepoint is commonly used to host collaborative workspaces, data management system, wikis and blogs.

  • Extensive integration with Microsoft Office System programs
Last updated: 14 Jul 2015

Microsoft Office 365 provides a cloud-hosted version of the Office suite. Different packages include different combinations of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft OneNote, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Sharepoint, and Microsoft Lync.

Last updated: 13 Jul 2015

Editors' Notes is an open-source, web-based tool for recording, organizing, preserving, and opening access to research notes, built with the needs of documentary editing projects, archives, and library special collections in mind.

Code license: Open source
Last updated: 8 Jul 2015

Open Conference Systems (OCS) is a free Web publishing tool that can create a complete Web presence for scholarly conferences. It is a highly flexible management and publishing system that can be downloaded for free and installed on a local Web server. It has been designed to reduce the time and energy devoted to the clerical and managerial tasks associated with managing a conference, while improving the record-keeping and efficiency of editorial processes.

Last updated: 8 Jul 2015

The Open Science Framework (OSF) is a free, open source tool designed to help researchers manage the entire research workflow: planning, execution, reporting, archiving and discovery. It is part collaboration software and part version control system. The OSF can be used to manage individual projects or large collaborative ones. Privacy and sharing settings allow for fine-grained control over access to files and materials stored on the platform - share privately with collaborators or publicly with the community at large.

Code license: Apache License
Last updated: 14 Jun 2015

Coggle is a web-based tool for non-linear structuring and visualization of information. Easy to create visually appealing diagrams with little to no technical expertise. Supports Markdown and LaTeX formatting (use LaTeX via the \\( \\) or \\[ \\] escape sequences). Users can add images by dragging and dropping them in the browser, view change history for each diagram and revert to previous states, and download their work as PDFs or images. Also enables real-time collaboration with others.

Possible use cases for Coggle may include:

Code license: Closed source
Last updated: 9 Jun 2015

Dropbox is a file hosting service that includes cloud storage, personal cloud, file synchronization, and client software across multiple platforms. Dropbox allows users to create a folder on each of their computers where any type of file can be saved, synchronized, and made available across all computers. Contents of the Dropbox folder are also accessible via and mobile applications. Individual files and folders can be shared with other Dropbox users or made publicly accessible.

Code license: Closed source, GNU GPL v2
Last updated: 22 May 2015

Silk is a platform for sites that contain collections of information. It's like the Tumblr for websites that have structured content–like software reviews, information about designers, a site with UN datasets, and more.

Last updated: 22 May 2015

Scripto is an engine for crowdsourcing the transcription of content that can be integrated with a custom transcription GUI and existing CMS.

Last updated: 21 May 2015

The HubZero Bamboo Work Space is an instance of HubZero enhanced with the combined functionality of the Bamboo Services Platform, Content Interoperability Hub, and Person Service built-in.

Last updated: 17 May 2015

HUBzero is a web publication platform and content management system designed to facilitate collaboration on research and learning. In addition to standard blog and discussion features, HUBzero's most distinctive traits are a built-in environment that can run interactive software that scholars have developed within the browser, a tool development area, and the ability to share data and documents privately between members of the hub.

Code license: Open source
Last updated: 9 May 2015

CoCoCo is an application for collecting, cataloging, and assessing the quality of user-submitted text or uploaded-file contributions.

Last updated: 8 May 2015

Confluence is enterprise wiki software, available either for installation on a local server or via cloud hosting. Open source projects can request a free license. Confluence integrates with other Atlassian products like JIRA.

Last updated: 5 May 2015

FromThePage is free software that allows volunteers to transcribe handwritten documents on-line. It's easy to index and annotate subjects within a text using a simple, wiki-like mark-up. Users can discuss difficult writing or obscure words within a page to refine their transcription. The resulting text is hosted on the web, making documents easy to read and search.

Code license: Open source, GNU Affero GPL
Last updated: 2 May 2015

Evernote is note-taking software in the cloud, with options for private and shared notebooks. Users can take text notes, and upload files to attach them to notes. Evernote has built-in OCR for images with printed or handwritten text. A premium account allows access to notebooks offline, as well as more storage and embedded PDF search.

Code license: Closed source
Last updated: 2 May 2015

Full-featured app for reading, annotating, organizing, and sending PDFs. Offers ability to annotate PDFs with pen, highlighter, audio recordings, and photos. For iPad or Android tablet.

Code license: Closed source
Last updated: 1 May 2015


NB is designed for faculty and students to collaboratively annotate PDFs in an online environment. The faculty member can upload course material (e.g. readings), and make it available to their students. Students can then create public and private annotations on those PDFs. NB includes a feature for faculty and (optionally) students to download the resulting fully-annotated PDFs.

Code license: Open source, MIT License
Last updated: 29 Apr 2015

Noteflight is a flash-based web product for the creating and sharing of musical text online. As well as the musical text processor, which is much like full software programs such as Sibelius and Finale, Noteflight has a dynamic social element where you can share original compositions with others and invite them to suggest or edit the work. It is ideal for online collaboration in music and for teaching purposes. A brief review of Noteflight, carried out as part of the MA DAH course at UCC, can be found at

Last updated: 26 Apr 2015

Commentpress is a theme and plugin for WordPress that enables granular public commenting on texts.

Code license: Open source, GNU GPL
Last updated: 6 Apr 2015

Creately is a web based diagramming tool with real-time collaboration to work together on diagrams. If you're not comfortable storing data on the cloud you can use the desktop version. It lets you create workflows, mind maps, concept maps, business process models, wire-frames, org charts and many more diagram types useful in research projects.

Code license: Closed source
Last updated: 24 Mar 2015

Extensive set of tools to allow collaborative transcription of manuscript pages in TEI-compliant XML.

Features of T-PEN through version 1.2 [from project blog]

Zoom Tool in Transcription User Interface: Holding CTRL+SHIFT will result in a magnified image of the current line being transcribed.

Last updated: 17 Mar 2015

Jumpchart is a way to collaboratively design website wireframes and sitemaps, and includes the ability to create navigation menus, draft and organize content, and track changes. It could be used as a way to get a head start on building a website, even before a server and/or software are available. Jumpchart offers HTML exports, and a direct-to-WordPress export ($25+/month accounts only).

Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

CATMA (Computer Aided Textual Markup & Analysis) is a free, open source markup and analysis tool from the University of Hamburg's Department of Languages, Literature and Media. It incorporates three interactive modules: (1) The tagger enables flexible and individual textual markup and markup editing. (2) The analyzer incorporates a query language and predefined functions. It also includes a query builder that allows users to construct queries from combinations of pre-defined questions while allowing for manual modification for more specific questions.

Code license: GNU GPL v3
Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

GitHub is a web-based repository service which offers the distributed revision control and source code management (SCM) functionality of GIT with a graphical user interface, desktop, and mobile integration. It also provides collaboration tools such as access control, wikis, task management, code review, bug tracking, and feature requests. It offers free accounts, often used to host opensource software projects, and private (paid) repositories.

Code license: Closed source
Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

XML-based software application for structured authoring and editing documents and content collaboration.


  • Spellchecker, thesaurus, track changes and other word processing functionality
  • Configurable document view (normal, tagged, plain text)
  • Resource Manager may be used to locate and insert items such as image files and text fragments.
  • Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    Apache Subversion Version System (SVN) is an open source version control system. Access and revision to objects are carefully controlled, to prevent unauthorized access and alteration. Developers use SVN to maintain current and historical versions of files such as source code, web pages, and documentation.

    Their Vision:

    Code license: Apache License
    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    Collaborators can write and edit a document simultaneously. TitanPad does not currently work with iOS devices like Apple's iPad or iPhone.

    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    Wikidot is a web application service that allows you to create a traditional wiki, forum, or blog. Wikidot is also a large community with an active question and answer forum.

    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    Writeboards are sharable, web-based text documents. You can use Writeboard on your own or collaboratively, to revise and organize documents, compare different versions of documents, and collaborate on materials.
    It's no longer possible to create new Writeboars on Existing Writeboards are still available on and Writeboards are available as a tool in Basecamp (

    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    BuzzData was a website that allowed users to create accounts to share and follow datasets. Data was shared in public rooms under open licenses. The service included tools to help visualize and present data.

    BuzzData was closed on August 1, 2013.

    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    TypeWright is a tool for correcting the text-version of a document made up of page images. These text-versions are crucially necessary: they are what enables full-text searching, datamining, preserving, and curating texts of historical importance. Right now, the text running behind the page images of these texts has been mechanically typed, leaving behind errors that need to be corrected by human eyes and hands.

    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    Edit Flow gives you custom statuses, a calendar, editorial comments, and more, all to make it much easier for your team to collaborate within WordPress.

    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    Trello is a web-based project management and collaboration tool that allows users to organize projects in a dashboard view, containing one or more project-oriented boards. The dashboard provides a real-time overview of what is being worked on, who is working on what, and overall progress toward project milestones. Useful for organized task management, delegation, communication, and collaboration across teams.

    Code license: Closed source
    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    SpiderOak provides an private and secure online backup, sync, sharing, access & storage solution for all file and data types. It was designed with a 'Privacy-as-a-Platform' approach. The 'Zero-Knowledge' privacy cloud technology provides a central, private place to store data, free from surveillance by private and public entities. Data is fully encrypted end-to-end (not only during transit) and only the user is able to unlock it using their password. Passwords are never stored by SpiderOak and the company cannot see the names of files or folders in your account.

    Code license: Closed source, GNU GPL v3
    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    Substance is a fully web-based document authoring and publishing platform.

    Code license: GNU GPL v3, Open source
    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    WikiPack is a web based personal information organizer and Markdown editor that uses Dropbox for synced storage. Using plain text Markdown files and WikiWords, WikiPack gives information context and links entries together by turning your Markdown pages into a private, password protected wiki. The easy to use Markdown language lets you create and edit your wiki pages without having to learn complex wiki syntax.

    Code license: Closed source
    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    WorkTop was designed to enhance the ability of students (and scholars at all levels) to more efficiently perform fundamental scholarly tasks while at the same time providing new opportunities for collaborative learning.

    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    Available as a web-based service and as an app for iOS, Mac, PC, and Android, Google Drive allows users to create, store, edit, and share files across all their devices. Online and offline file access available. Requires a Google account for use, but allows files from Drive to be shared with non-Google users.

    Last updated: 1 Sep 2016

    Web based LaTeX editor that features a LaTeX complier, version control, and online storage space. Allows collaborative editing and offline editing.

    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    This online tool can be used for a wide variety of annotation tasks, including visualization and collaboration.

    brat is designed in particular for structured annotation, where the notes are not freeform text but have a fixed form that can be automatically processed and "interpreted" by a computer. brat also supports the annotation of n-ary associations that can link together any number of other annotations participating in specific roles. brat also implements a number of features relying on natural language processing techniques to support human annotation efforts.

    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    PyBossa is a free, open-source, platform for creating and running crowd-sourcing applications that utilise online assistance in performing tasks that require human cognition, knowledge or intelligence such as image classification, transcription, geocoding and more.

    Code license: GNU Affero GPL, Open source
    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    Participad is a WordPress plugin that allows multiple people to edit the same WP content at the same time. Powered by Etherpad Lite, Participad gives you: notepads for collaborative notetaking; synchronous authoring of any content in the WordPress Dashboard; front-end editing. You can download it from the WordPress plugin repository.

    Participad has three modules:

    Code license: Open source, GNU GPL v3
    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    Project management software for sharing files, messages, and task management, including options for daily update emails, and real time document editing.

    Code license: Closed source
    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    Mediathread is an open-source platform for exploration, analysis, and organization of web-based multimedia content. It interoperates with a variety of image and video collections (such as YouTube, Flickr, library databases, and course libraries), enabling users to lift items out of these collections and into a scholarly analysis environment. In Mediathread, items can then be clipped, annotated, organized, and embedded into compositions and other written analysis.

    Code license: GNU GPL v2
    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    With ediarum researchers can comfortably transcribe, encode and edit manuscripts in TEI-XML, as well as publish their results in an online or print edition. The solution, developed by TELOTA, is based on three software components: exist-db, Oxygen XML Author, and ConTeXt. These are combined, supplemented with additional functions, and tailored to fit a project's needs.

    Code license: Open source, GNU GPL, GPL, GNU LGPL
    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    Writefull is a light-weight app that uses data from Google Books (5+ million books) and the Web to improve your writing, It compares small sections of your text to a large data set of writing found online and in Google Books. All you need to do is select a chunk of your text in your browser or text editing software, activate the Writefull popover, and choose one of its five options:

    1) check the number of results (how often the chunk appears in Google Books or the Web);

    Code license: Closed source
    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014

    Annotation Studio is an open source, web-based annotation application that integrates a powerful set of textual interpretation tools behind an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Users can upload their own texts, and annotate with styled text, video, images, and weblinks. To date, the project has been used with great success in disciplines such as Writing, Literature, Foreign Languages, Anthropology, Film and Media Studies, and others at institutions including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, Barnard College, and Washington University.

    Code license: Open source, GNU GPL, GNU GPL v2
    Last updated: 29 Dec 2014
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