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Networks of Collaboration among Scientists in a Center for Diabetes Translation Research.


ABSTRACT: Transdisciplinary collaboration is essential in addressing the translation gap between scientific discovery and delivery of evidence-based interventions to prevent and treat diabetes. We examined patterns of collaboration among scientists at the Washington University Center for Diabetes Translation Research.Members (n = 56) of the Washington University Center for Diabetes Translation Research were surveyed about collaboration overall and on publications, presentations, and grants; 87.5% responded (n = 49). We used traditional and network descriptive statistics and visualization to examine the networks and exponential random graph modeling to identify predictors of collaboration.The 56 network members represented nine disciplines. On average, network members had been affiliated with the center for 3.86 years (s.d. = 1.41). The director was by far the most central in all networks. The overall and publication networks were the densest, while the overall and grant networks were the most centralized. The grant network was the most transdisciplinary. The presentation network was the least dense, least centralized, and least transdisciplinary. For every year of center affiliation, network members were 10% more likely to collaborate (OR: 1.10; 95% CI: 1.00-1.21) and 13% more likely to write a paper together (OR: 1.13; 95% CI: 1.02-1.25). Network members in the same discipline were over twice as likely to collaborate in the overall network (OR: 2.10; 95% CI: 1.40-3.15); however, discipline was not associated with collaboration in the other networks. Rank was not associated with collaboration in any network.As transdisciplinary centers become more common, it is important to identify structural features, such as a central leader and ongoing collaboration over time, associated with scholarly productivity and, ultimately, with advancing science and practice.

SUBMITTER: Harris JK 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4547723 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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