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

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

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