Scott Wavers writes about how to invest your time wisely as a researcher and how to collaborate well. In his blog post he outlines the top 20 benefits of collaboration for a researcher.
Here are Wavers’ top 20 benefits of collaboration:
- Higher impact of publications: there is a direct correlation between the number of authors and impact factor.
- Encourages greater creativity.
- Future: those you collaborate with today will think of you tomorrow when they are putting together a € 20,000,000 grant proposal.
- Less work: done well, collaboration means less work for everyone without compromising on results.
- Criticism: collaborators are more likely to tell you, that in reality the emperor is not wearing any clothes. Debating ideas is also important for creativity and achieving Group Genius
- Ability to bring more experience to bear: tapping into the distributed intelligence of a group increases you chances of solving problems more efficiently.
- Efficient learning: Seeing how a team of experts solves a problem is the best learning that there is.
- Wider array of techniques: a collaboration across lab groups, departments or institutions widens the access to a greater number of techniques used for research.
- Deeper research: in a collaboration you are forced to do more than clip the top of trees with your research.
- Funding: Getting funding in Europe and the US it is typically much easier in the context of a collaboration.
- Increased number of publications: is related to number 9 as the deeper the research the more publications.
- Better and more concrete networks built through collaborations.
- Higher likelihood of becoming commercial.
- More fun to be had with a team than on your own.
- Knowledge of what others are doing: in particular by simply talking with a fellow team member on the research project.
- Less risk: there are many more degrees of freedom with a collaborative network than there are with a single lab following a single line of research.
- Agility: it is far more likely that you can exploit an unexpected finding in the setting of a collaboration.
- Early adopters: your collaboration partners are almost by definition your early adopters for your novel approach, new technology, or new hypothesis.
- Impressing investors and funding agencies.