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To write alone or not to write alone, that is the question

Authors Vance DE

Received 10 February 2013

Accepted for publication 13 February 2013

Published 13 March 2013 Volume 2013:3 Pages 43—46


Checked for plagiarism Yes

David E Vance

Center for Nursing Research, School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA

Over the past 20 years, I have written and published over 150 book chapters and journal articles, with others and alone. Despite such collaborative efforts in generating articles, writing itself is a solitary act, requiring a great deal of concentration, knowledge, and dedication, along with a keen eye for detail. And it is that solitary approach that I would like to address.
    Since writing is such a solitary exercise, why do we write in groups? Clearly, fantastic advantages (eg, insights in conceptualization, help with interpretation and analysis of data, valuable feedback in revising the article) as well as dismal disadvantages (eg, personality clashes, extra time needed) exist for doing so.1 In fact, viewing scientific writing as a continuum ranging from a single/solo author to a team of multiple coauthors, a few of the pros and cons can be observed along both ends of this framework as is outlined in Figure 1; these include authorship determination, amount of workload, coordination of others, production speed, and quality checks.1

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