Agree everything in advance and capture in a pre-nuptial agreement
Regardless of whether you are working with close friends or people you hardly know, find the time and bravado to broach the difficult issues in advance.
Have a clear division of labour
Agree up front who will do what in the co-authoring team such that everyone is aware that they have something substantive to do.
Know how your co-authors work
Discuss the process that your new co-authors go through as they craft a publishable artefact. That way you’ll know what to expect.
Develop the hide of a Rhinoceros
Opportunities for academics to take offence are legion. If you want a co-authoring relationship to work you’re going to have to get over the idea that all criticism is personal.
Pull your weight
If you are pulling your own weight in your shared endeavours then you will be better able to chastise your co-authors should the need arise.
Remember that editing is a form of writing
Writing the first draft and editing the final one are both forms of writing. Recognise that editing is a critical skill which more than justifies the status of co-author if done well.
Remember your status
All co-authors are equal, but some are more equal than others. Knowing where you are in the hierarchy can help smooth the social process.
Exploit your networks
Who to work with? Think about the people you know, colleagues, supervisors, examiners are a very good place to start, who would like to work with?
(re)evaluate the experience
Take the time to assess the pros and cons of each co-authoring arrangement and act on the conclusions.
Break up gracefully
Not all co-authoring relationships last so, if you have decided to go your separate ways, try to consciously uncouple in a way which doesn’t do lasting damage.
This advice also appeared in the Times Higher Education Supplement.