The past decade has seen dramatic shifts in the way that scientific research is conducted as networks, consortia, and large research centers are funded as transdisciplinary, team-based enterprises to tackle complex scientific questions. Key investigators (N = 167) involved in ten health disparities research centers completed a baseline social network and collaboration readiness survey. Collaborative ties existed primarily between investigators from the same center, with just 7 % of ties occurring across different centers. Grants and work groups were the most common types of ties between investigators, with shared presentations the most common tie across different centers. Transdisciplinary research orientation was associated with network position and reciprocity. Center directors/leaders were significantly more likely to form ties with investigators in other roles, such as statisticians and trainees. Understanding research collaboration networks can help to more effectively design and manage future team-based research, as well as pinpoint potential issues and continuous evaluation of existing efforts.
Scientific collaboration and team science: a social network analysis of the centers for population health and health disparities