What keystroke-logging can reveal about writing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


Writing is a dynamic activity. In order fully to appreciate that fact, we have to analyse writing as it unfolds in teal time. The present paper gives a bird's eye perspective on the budding paradigm of using keystroke logging as a window on the online process of writing. First, methods and tools for designing writing experiments, recording writing activity, and for analysing recordings of writing activity are reviewed. Second, an overview of different lines of research is presented. Here, rather than attempting an exhaustive review of the state-of-art, we present selective illustrations from four areas of research where keystroke logging by means of the research tool ScriptLog was used as a basis for the analysis of writing: the contrastive study of speech and writing, the study of learning to write, the study of writing difficulties, and the experimental study of spelling. Also, the combination of keystroke logging with eye-tracking technology is illustrated. The paper ends with a discussion of future directions for research and applications, including test, diagnosis, evaluation, writing support, and a new generation of corpora of computer-logged writing and their use in research and education.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


  • ScriptLog, text writing, keystroke logging, production rate, spelling, writing
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputer key-stroke logging and writing: methods and applications (Studies in Writing)
EditorsKirk Sullivan, Eva Lindgren
ISBN (Print)0-08-044934-4
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1572-6304

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003), Humanities Lab (015101200)