Distinguished Professor, Department of Government
Department of Mathematics & Statistics,
Founding Director, Center for Data Science
Member, Center for Neuroscience and Behavior

American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016

The Structure of Distributed Scientific Research Teams Affects Collaboration and Research Output

  • Gehlert, Sarah, Jung Ae Lee-Bartlett, Jeff Gill, Graham Colditz, Ruth E. Patterson, Kaythryn Schmitz, Linda Neberling, et al. “The Structure of Distributed Scientific Research Teams Affects Collaboration and Research Output”. Transdisciplinary Journal of Engineering & Science 8 (2017): 1-10

    To understand how the nature of scientific collaboration between individuals and sites in team-based research initiatives affect collaboration and research output, we examined four waves of prospective survey data to measure collaboration across investigators, disciplines, and sites to measure structural determinants of research success. 116 investigators in the five sites of the NIH-funded U54 Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) initiative were surveyed about their research ties with a 2011 baseline measure and followed by three additional iterations and augmented by bibliometric data. Social network analysis describes the changing structure of contact and cooperation. We found that the network structure of a team science project affects the nature and rate of publications, implying that funded projects vary in research output based on how investigators interact with each other and that the design of scientific research projects affects research output by determining levels of contact between actual and potential collaborators. Keywords: cancer; research; transdisciplinarity; team science; network models. 

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