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Tools for Authors: Finding Collaborators

This libguide provides guidance for authors in support of their scholarship efforts.

Why Collaborate?

  • Improve quality of scientific research
  • Extend research relationships and networks
  • Foster interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research
  • Share expertise and knowledge transfer
  • Efficient use of funding resources
  • Reduce duplication of research efforts
  • Enhance scientific and publishing productivity
  • Share resources such as specialized equipment
  • Accelerate dissemination of scientific findings for community benefit

In a 2001 article, Beaver outlines 18 reasons for collaboration:

  • Access to expertise.
  • Access to equipment, resources, or “stuff” one doesn’t have.
  • Improve access to funds.
  • To obtain prestige or visibility; for professional advancement.
  • Efficiency: multiplies hands and minds; easier to learn the tacit knowledge that goes with a technique.
  • To make progress more rapidly.
  • To tackle “bigger” problems (more important, more comprehensive, more difficult, global).
  • To enhance productivity.
  • To get to know people, to create a network, like an “invisible college”.
  • To retool, learn new skills or techniques, usually to break into a new field, subfield, or problem.
  • To satisfy curiosity, intellectual interest.
  • To share the excitement of an area with other people.
  • To find flaws more efficiently, reduce errors and mistakes.
  • To keep one more focussed on research, because others are counting on one to do so.
  • To reduce isolation, and to recharge one’s energy and excitement.
  • To educate (a student, graduate student, or, oneself).
  • To advance knowledge and learning.
  • For fun, amusement, and pleasure.

[Source: Beaver, D. D. Reflections on Scientific Collaboration (and its Study): Past, Present, and Future. Scientometrics, Vol. 52, No. 3 , 365-377. 2001. page 373. DOI: 10.1023/A:1014254214337]

Types of Collaboration

Unidisciplinary: Researchers from a single discipline collaborate on a project to address a research issue.

Multidisciplinary: Researchers from different disciplines work independently on a project to address a research issue.

Interdisciplinary: Researchers from different disciplines collaborate on a project using their discipline-specific perspective to address a research issue.

Transdisciplinary: Researchers from different disciplines collaborate on a project using a shared framework to address a research issue. A new model for addressing a research issue may result from this research.

[Source: Stokols D, et al. The science of team science: overview of the field and introduction to the supplement. Am J Prev Med. 2008 Aug;35(2 Suppl):S77-89.]

How to Find Collaborators