The increasing use of web based tools for decentralized project collaboration has opened up vast opportunities in collaborative research. With such collaboration comes the need for a means to efficiently develop and maintain project documentation. I intend to address this need by developing a web-based software platform to handle the collaboration issues such as version control, organization and compilation of segments, issues that are common across all forms of documentation.
My focus will be on creating a system that, through a well structured process, allows for the efficient creation of content from ideas, and maintains that link between ideas and content throughout the document creation process. I will not address the technical issues associated with simultaneous editing of single documents, as such issues are already being adequately addressed by applications such as Google Docs. I will instead focus on version control and compilation of document segments, and the communication surrounding document creation, all of which are more applicable to engineering research documentation. The platform will provide an API for development of more specialized applications for specific document types. In addition to the platform itself, I intend to develop a demonstrative application for construction of text documents.