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Fonio, online collaborative scholarly writing

Build autonomous and high quality websites with the demo version of the Fonio software


Try out the demo version of Fonio, an online collaborative scholarly writing software allowing to build  autonomous and high quality websites.

Fonio’s features

Sensibly equivalent to the many online scientific writing software that have recently appeared on the web, Fonio is distinguished by its entirely free and decentralized nature, its orientation towards the publication of websites (rather than more traditional paginated formats), and its specialization for the humanities and social sciences (in terms of features and technical accessibility).

Fonio proposes the following features:

  • Fonio allows you harness all the richness of an enquiry’s work by featuring bibliographic references, images, tables, videos, and interactive elements, and documenting them in a rigorous way. It encourages rigorous documentation practices (sourcing, dating, attribution,...) and automates the presentation of these different materials in published documents (short references, figures legends, list of references,...).
  • Fonio allows to leverage the power of hypertextuality by using complex website structures and creating an interactive glossary. 
  • Fonio also allows to implement advanced design through a graphical user interface and coded graphical instructions with CSS language. 
  • Fonio allows the publication of autonomous static websites that authors can easily put online on their own web spaces.


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Opening to new users

Fonio is produced by the FORCCAST program, dedicated to the development of pedagogical innovations for the analysis of controversies, science and technology. It is the result of a long series of pedagogical experimentations anchored in the creation of websites intended to restitute the complexity of socio-technical controversies (see the case studies of the forccast program).

After an incubation as close as possible to the "controversy mapping" courses of the FORCCAST program, the software has been progressively tested within the pedagogical community of Sciences Po for sociology and art history courses, before being used for two years by all first-year students of the university college on the occasion of the Digital Culture course.

It is now stabilized and ready to meet a wider audience!

An open environment

Fonio is entirely free and shared under the free AGPL license on the github platform. Technically, it can easily be installed on the IT infrastructure of other institutions using Docker technology, as a light and database-free node.js server. Thus, Fonio allows to deploy a decentralized and modular architecture where each course has its own possibly customizable instance.

Fonio is also compatible with Ovide, a sibling software allowing more advanced writing, design and scientific editing practices, in the form of a single-user web and desktop application. It is possible to import the work of one to the other to alternate phases of collective writing and individual deepening.