Navigation Links
Is team science productive?
Date:10/18/2010

PHILADELPHIA - Taking a cue from the world of business-performance experts and baseball talent scouts, Penn Medicine translational medicine researchers are among the first to find a way to measure the productivity of collaborations in a young, emerging institute. They published their findings the most recent issue of Science Translational Medicine.

While metrics exist to measure the contributions of individual scientists, judging the effectiveness of team science has been more challenging. Reasoning that team science produces papers and grants, first author postdoctoral fellow Michael Hughes, PhD, (now at Yale University) and colleagues measured these endpoints and analyzed them over time using network analysis, which examines a social structure made up of individuals connected by a common interdependency.

Using the numbers of publications and grants as their raw data, researchers from Penn's Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT) measured how their productivity changed with increasing collaborations over the last five years.

"We're applying quantitative methods to evaluate the collaborative nature of academic science and medicine," says senior author John Hogenesch, PhD, associate professor of Pharmacology in the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Hogenesch is also an ITMAT member and interim director of the Penn Center for Bioinformatics.

They found that the number of collaborative papers for ITMAT members doubled since 2006. They also found that researchers were more likely to collaborate within their own departments and institutions than between them. "While understandable, if the purpose of an institute is to facilitate cross-disciplinary interactions, then encouraging people to collaborate across departments and institutes is critical," says Hogenesch.

The authors concluded that studies such as these could help inform decisions about which institutes, centers, or departments are most likely to facilitate collaboration, and learn how they're doing it. This will point the way to ideas to increase cross-discipline collaborations such as trans-center grants to facilitate collaborations between departments.

"The most challenging aspect of the study was acquiring the data. At this point, we've analyzed PubMed and research grants and only for ITMAT. Ideally, we would be able to compare these metrics to those from other similar institutes including more data sources. Also, as time goes by, having downstream measures of this productivity such as literature citations and investigational new drug applications will point the way towards learning the operational rules of translational science," says Hogenesch.

Inspired by America's Pastime

First author Hughes is a baseball fan, and he realized that professional baseball has kept detailed statistics on the outcomes of every at-bat in every game for the last 100-plus years. These data provide a wealth of information to quantitatively address the traits that predict a successful baseball career, and the types and combinations of players needed to win games. By quantitatively and objectively studying performance, baseball analysts have been able to identify and exploit inefficiencies in the labor market -- highly skilled players were sometimes under-valued because of widely-held, but incorrect, assumptions. "If they're measuring performance quantitatively in baseball, shouldn't we do the same for science?," asks Hughes.

But how do investigators evaluate their performance quantitatively -- especially the scientific output of an institution comprising hundreds of active researchers, let alone comparing performance among centers and institutes with similar missions at different universities. Using ITMAT's roster of members over time, the team used network dynamics as a first step towards measuring scientific performance of cross-disciplinary institutes and centers.

ITMAT was founded in 2004 as the world's first translational medicine institute, and as of January 2009, included over 500 active investigators spanning four institutions and dozens of academic departments. "We reasoned that ITMAT's productivity could be partly measured by how it facilitates collaborations between its members," says Hogenesch.

To collect data, the team generated special data-mining programs to automatically extract publication information from PubMed. In addition, they analyzed grant proposals submitted by ITMAT faculty during the last five years and additional data from NIH Reporter. From this they quantified the number of papers and grants by ITMAT investigators over time, and how these collaborative interactions changed over time.

ITMAT's overall size and complexity grew significantly since its inception. Not only has the total number of investigators actively collaborating within ITMAT increased during this time, the average investigator has been collaborating more.

"This finding was not surprising since as the size of the network grows, the probability that two investigators would interact to co-publish papers or co-submit grants grows," explains Hogenesch. "In network-speak, the number of edges co-published papers and grants - per node two or more investigators - grew nearly twice as fast during the past five years, as the growth of ITMAT's membership has grown, suggesting that ITMAT's expansion increased the number of collaborations. What's more, the percentage of ITMAT investigators actively collaborating within ITMAT grew every year, with nearly two-thirds actively engaged in collaborations in 2009."


'/>"/>

Contact: Karen Kreeger
karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5658
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. National Medal of Science awarded to Stephen Benkovic of Penn State University
2. UCSFs Prusiner receives Presidents National Medal of Science
3. UCSF Chancellor inducted into Academy of Arts and Sciences
4. Neuroscience research may help patients recover from brain injury
5. University Hospitals Case Medical Centers neuroscience intensive care unit earns Beacon Award
6. Elsevier launches new journal: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
7. The University of Warsaw obtains 3-year site license to Science to provide site-wide access to research institutions in Poland
8. As Science Unlocks Secrets, Cancer Rates Fall
9. National Institute of General Medical Sciences chief wins prestigious public service award
10. Scott & White Healthcare receives designation as Neuroscience Center of Excellence
11. Elsevier introduces SciVerse, an innovative platform for accelerating science
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Is team science productive?
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment ... also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room ... Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. ... of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... A recent article published June 14 on E Online ... on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo not only ... calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills Physicians (BHP) ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida attorneys are ... for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers practicing within ... of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark D. Bloom, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB Medicine presented ... in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards honor the ... Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With this award, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... Devices Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report to ... the treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, it ... excess fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the treatment ... potassium and chloride in balance. Increasing number ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; ... for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a ... septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is the first ... integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... infection and PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology and ... platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 nd ... 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A demonstration ... of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will be ... is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: