Completely new to Confluence - I need to set up a research ethics process that is like the following:
1) staff members upload some word files that outline their ethical approach to any research they are proposing
2) Members of the research committee discuss the documentation (only they should be able to see it)
3) They approve or send recommendations for changes?
Does that make sense?
You can do that with Confluence, but in my opinion, a better approach would be:
The idea is to move from files (word files) to content (confluence pages). And yes, it totally makes sense!
I agree about creating real wiki pages instead of uploading word files. If you really need word files later on you can export the pages to word or pdf. The workflows add-on is pretty full featured, but another less feature filled option for page approval is the Page Approval add-on. https://marketplace.atlassian.com/plugins/net.customware.confluence.plugin.pageapproval
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