Pros and Cons of including writer's name

Subject: Pros and Cons of including writer's name
From: Sheila Marshall <sheila -at- STK -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 12:00:37 -0500

Hi Pam!

Last year, after working hard on over 20 manuals (I was, at that time, a
lone tech writer), I decided to include the author's name on the inside
cover of every manual. Really loved to see it in print the first time.
Total rush! But now, I regret the impulse and have decided to stop for
several reasons:

1. I can't claim total ownership of those manuals. The developers really
helped me out and put a lot of effort into the documents at one point int
he process. It isn't fair to them.

2. We now have another tech writer and intend to hire a third. We are a
team and should be able to work on any manual in the place. I've helped out
at the last minute closing a manual for the other TW. He's done the same
for me. Who authored the book? Who put in a lot of time helping out?

I haven't made it policy yet to exclude the author line but I no longer
include it in the manuals I write. It just doesn't promote a team
orientation and usually manages to exclude people without whom the manual
wouldn't have been possible.

Sheila




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