Apache Subversion is an open source version control system. For those working on collaborative research projects which involve writing program code or developing software applications, it may be a valuable aid; it can also be used as a more general document management systemp>
Subversion allows simple text files (such as those used for storing code) to be edited by multiple people simultaneously. Where possible, it will merge their edits, and where conflicts arise, it provides tools for resolving these. While these features are not available for other file types (such as Word documents or images), the system can be used to store documents and keep track of past versions (though to avoid the risk of data corruption, it’s important to ensure that it is configured to do just this).
Some University departments will assist research groups in creating their own Subversion repository on departmental server space: consult your department’s IT team to see if this service is available.