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GRASS (Group Report Authoring Support System)

The development of GRASS (GRoup Report Authoring Support System) started in 1993. In that year, the government of the west coast Canadian province of British Columbia decided to allow clearcutting of the Clayoquot Sound watershed.

The resulting intense protests finally led the government to commission a Scientific Panel to write a series of reports defining new land use policies. However, this expert authoring process was intransparent. The idea was then conceived to create the GRASS system as “an arena for credible societal discourse”.

The aim of the system is to support the collaborative authoring of concise group reports that give their readers an up-to-date and credible overview of the positions of a wide range of stakeholders on a particular issue. In those days, Web technology was still in its infancy and the specifications of GRASS were hard to implement.

In 2004, a working demonstrator was developed. It was thoroughly tested by a group of students, who produced a complete group report on a parliamentary research information system for public infrastructure investments.

See for description.

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