From Sole Investigator to Team Scientist: Trends in the Practice and Study of Research Collaboration

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This article reviews trends in the practice and study of research collaboration, focusing on journal publications in academic science. I briefly describe the different styles and types of collaboration and then focus on the drivers of the trend toward increased collaboration and on its consequences for both individual researchers and science more generally. Scholarship on collaboration seems partial to delineating its benefits; this review highlights the increasing body of research that focuses instead on the possible costs of collaboration. The synthesis reveals several topics that are ripe for investigation, including the impact of collaboration on the contributing authors and their work, the use of multiple methods and measures, and research integrity. I applaud a few recent efforts to overcome the perennial file-drawer problem by gaining access to collaborations that do not result in publication and thus are typically removed from public review and the research analyst's eye.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-100
Number of pages20
JournalAnnual Review of Sociology
StatePublished - Jul 30 2016


  • Coauthorship
  • Collaboration
  • Research
  • Science
  • Team science
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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