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Computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) is the field of tools and methods using computers to assist groups of people in accomplishing their goals. Related research includes technical topics such as editing lockouts and social topics such as joint authoring.


The term was first coined by Irene Greif and Paul M. Cashman in 1984, at a workshop attended by individuals interested in using technology to support people in their work.[1] At about this same time in 1987, Dr. Charles Findley presented the concept of Collaborative Learning-Work.[2] According to Peter Harry Carstensen and Kjeld Schmidt,[3] CSCW addresses "how collaborative activities and their coordination can be supported by means of computer systems". On the one hand, many authors consider that CSCW and groupware are synonyms. On the other hand, different authors claim that while groupware refers to real computer-based systems, CSCW focuses on the study of tools and techniques of groupware as well as their psychological, social, and organizational effects.[4]


  1. Grudin, J.. "Computer-Supported Cooperative Work: History and Focus", pp. 19–26. 
  2. .Findley, Charles A. 1989. Collaborative Learning-work. Presentation at the Pacific Telecommunications Council 1989 Conference, January 15–20, Honolulu, Hawaii.Collaborative Networked Learning Project – Digital Equipment Corporation. Primary documents stored on Internet Archive
  3. Carstensen, P.H. (1999). Computer supported cooperative work: new challenges to systems design. Archived from the original on 2004-10-13.
  4. Wilson, P.. "Computer Supported Cooperative Work: An Introduction", Springer Science & Business Media, 1991. 

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