The two projects that have been responsible for building LAGOS are based on a solid foundation of team science that includes the philosophy that high-performing collaborative research teams are not born, but carefully built and maintained. There are two strategies for developing our research teams that we have used in our project work that we describe below. In addition, because there were few guidelines available to us at the beginning of our first project, we have also published in this general area to help contribute to the literature of team science and
(1) Teamwork exercises: At each of our annual all-project participant workshops, we conduct teamwork exercises that have fed into the establishment of standards of behavior (i.e., team norms). Such explicit team norms can create clear expectations among team members, which can increase levels of trust and maximize benefits for all team members. See our article that describes many examples of such exercises in the supplementary materials: Cheruvelil et al. 2014.
(2) Written team policies: The above team norms should be written as team policies for important team practices such as data sharing, co-authorship, and others. We have found that these policies are ever-evolving, and that sometimes surprising conversations occur during policy development, especially among scientists of different disciplines and career-stage. Therefore, these policies should be viewed as living documents that change over time to reflect changing team membership and project goals. See each of our projects for their policies as well as others available online from other teams, such as the Operating Principles and Procedures document developed for the Global Lakes Ecological Observation Network (GLEON). CSI-Limnology team policies are here, and Continental Limnology team policies are here.
Publications from our group related to team science
Oliver, S.K., C.E. Fergus, N.K. Skaff, K.S. Cheruvelil, P.-N. Tan, T. Wagner, P.A. Soranno. Best practices for collaborative manuscript development in large, interdisciplinary science teams. Manuscript in preparation.
Cheruvelil, K.S., P.A. Soranno, K.C. Weathers, P.C. Hanson, S. Goring, C.T. Filstrup, and E.K. Read. 2014. Creating and maintaining high-performing collaborative research teams: the importance of diversity and interpersonal skills. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 12(1):31-38.
Goring, S., K. Weathers, W.K. Dodds, P.A. Soranno, L. Sweet, K.S. Cheruvelil, J. Kominoski, J. Ruegg, A. Thorn, R. Utz. 2014. Improving the culture of interdisciplinary collaboration in ecology by expanding the measures of success. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 12(1):39-47.
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