Collaborating on an article: what are your options?

These days, many projects are done as a team, and writing assignments are no exception. It can be challenging to collaborate efficiently on the same text, especially if you and your co-authors mostly communicate online. Fortunately, there are a number of online tools that allow you to write, edit, view and share a document with multiple people simultaneously and in real time. OneDrive, Google Drive, Sharepoint or Overleaf are just a few examples.


OneDrive is an online storage space for saving files. Ghent University offers every staff member and student their own OneDrive of 2 TB. The easiest way to access your files is to log on to, or to click on the "OneDrive" tab in Microsoft Teams. If you then right-click on a document, you’ll see an option to share the file. 

More info and explanations can be found on the DICT Helpdesk

Google Drive

Google Drive also offers online storage space, requiring only a Google account. Each account gets 15 free GB to store files, shared between Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. You can share a file by right-clicking on it and choosing 'Share', or by clicking the 'Share' button in the top right corner of the document itself.


You can use SharePoint to share files and to work on them together, but that’s not the only thing SharePoint is good at. Think of SharePoint as a platform you can use to build a kind of website, accessible to a specific group only (as opposed to a public website).

OneDrive and Sharepoint are somewhat similar in terms of features, yet there are also important differences: OneDrive’s main purpose is personal storage space. If you want to share files in OneDrive, you’ll have to enable it on a folder-by-folder or document-by-document basis. After you leave Ghent University, your OneDrive will cease to exist. It also doesn’t offer the complex and extensive options of SharePoint. SharePoint, on the other hand, is specifically meant to be used by multiple people at the same time. By default, all files are shared with all users of that SharePoint. It won't disappear after you leave Ghent University and you can also do more with it than just storing files.

Want to know more about SharePoint? Then consult the DICT Helpdesk.

Shared network drives

A useful tool during the broader research process (i.e. not just writing), is a shared network drive. Any staff member at Ghent University may request such a drive, providing 2 TB of storage space by default. Those with access can see, add, modify and delete files. A shared disk doesn’t allow people to work on the same document at the same time, but it’s useful for storing project-related data, e.g. for research purposes. For example, it makes it easy for PhD students to share data with their supervisors. It also allows you to store EndNote libraries for collaborative referencing.

More info on shared network drives can be found on the DICT Helpdesk.

See also Storing and backing up data.


Do you prefer to write in LaTeX? Then you can use Overleaf to work together on the same document. It’s hosted entirely online, so there’s no need to install LaTeX on your computer. You can also be sure that your co-authors are using the same templates and packages. Note: with a free account, you can only invite one other person to co-author your document.

For more info, see Universiteit Gent on Overleaf.

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Last modified Jan. 26, 2024, 5:16 p.m.