Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Special Issue on

 Software Development as Cooperative Work


Last edited:

December 5th, 2007: page created

The Special Issue invites submissions addressing software development as cooperative work in the widest sense. Cooperation here encompasses both cooperation between software professionals within a development team, distributed or collocated, and cooperation between different development teams and users, e.g. around the customisation of software products.

The coordination of synchronous and asynchronous aspects of software development has been approached using diverse methodologies. For example, agile development methodologies address the human and social aspects of software development in a more situated way than traditional methodologies emphasising planning and control. Open Source Development offers yet a different way of coordinating highly cooperative and distributed development activities. In each of these approaches, to mediate the cooperative development of a complex and intrinsically invisible product, different means of mediating the awareness of the impact of individual and group work on the common artefact have been proposed.

The increasing dependency of software builds on existing frameworks, middleware, or an earlier version of itself is also increasingly recognised as a cooperative issue. The fact that many programs are configured, tailored and customised in contexts independent from their development context requires that different communities cooperate throughout the life cycle of software products, i.e., the developers of software must cooperate with the communities of customisers and tailoring users around the design of new features. Design decisions are consciously deferred to the use contexts. Furthermore, via national and international standardisations, development of work practices and software are coordinated across whole professional communities.

Software development has been an important component of CSCW research from the beginning. A special issue on 'Studies of Cooperative Design' in 1996 served as an important reference point and provided insight into state of the art research at that time. A number of workshops (e.g. at CSCW 2006, and at ECSCW 2007) with related foci have taken place. Additional work is published in neighbouring communities like information systems or software engineering. This special issue aims to increase the visibility of relevant work within the field, while also attracting researchers from related fields.

Topics of potential interest for the special issue include (but are not limited to) the following:

* Agile global software development
* Open source software collaborative development
* Mediating awareness in (distributed) development
* Distributed development
* Cooperative tailoring
* End User Software Engineering
* Cooperation between different professional groups around software development and
* Knowledge sharing and management in software development
* How do processes, methods and tools inform development practices?
* Socio-technical congruency
* Source code, software architecture and design documents as artefacts
mediating cooperation


Guest editors

Yvonne Dittrich, corresponding guest editor,
ITU of Copenhagen, Denmark ( )

Brian Fitzgerald,
LERO and University of Limerick, Ireland, ( )

Dave Randall,
Manchester Metropolitan University, Great Britain

Janice Singer,
National Research Council Canada ( )


Time line:
September 1st, 2008 Deadline for submissions
October 1st 2008   Reviewers assigned
March 2009 Reviews received, papers selected
July 1st, 2009 Revisions received
August 1st, 2009 Final acceptance
September 1st, 2009 Final version due
Fall 2009 Publication

Submission information

Authors wishing to determine the suitability of their work for the special issue may submit a pre-proposal of no more than two pages to any member of the guest editor team by April 30, 2008.

Submissions will be accepted electronically via the journal's electronic submission system.

For information regarding formating and so on, please check the Journal homepage:
Computer Supported Cooperative Work: The journal for Collaborative Computing

Address: Software Development Group, IT-University Copenhagen, Rued Langaardsvej 7, 2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark Page responsible: Yvonne Dittrich Page updated: December 5th, 2008