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Eval Health Prof. 2014 Mar;37(1):19-32. doi: 10.1177/0163278713501693. Epub 2013 Sep 8.

Identifying emerging research collaborations and networks: method development.

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  • 1Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA.


Clinical and translational research is a multidisciplinary, collaborative team process. To evaluate this process, we developed a method to document emerging research networks and collaborations in our medical center to describe their productivity and viability over time. Using an e-mail survey, sent to 1,620 clinical and basic science full- and part-time faculty members, respondents identified their research collaborators. Initial analyses, using Pajek software, assessed the feasibility of using social network analysis (SNA) methods with these data. Nearly 400 respondents identified 1,594 collaborators across 28 medical center departments resulting in 309 networks with 5 or more collaborators. This low-burden approach yielded a rich data set useful for evaluation using SNA to: (a) assess networks at several levels of the organization, including intrapersonal (individuals), interpersonal (social), organizational/institutional leadership (tenure and promotion), and physical/environmental (spatial proximity) and (b) link with other data to assess the evolution of these networks.


clinical and translational science; data collection methods; research collaboration; social network analysis; team science

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