A lone researcher struggling to answer the “big question” in his or her discipline tends to be the exception in academia these days. Researchers in many fields prefer to work with others in and out of their areas, in order to obtain complementary expertise, save time, or decrease expenses. Other investigators enjoy collaborations with researchers in differing subjects as a way of finding innovative approaches to solving problems. Multiple factors are contributing to this increase in collaborations. Technology, such as e-mail, favors communication across countries and nations. Further, private and federal funding sources encourage collaborative and multidisciplinary projects. Also, federal law, such as the Bayh-Dole Act, promotes the commercialization of patentable technologies developed at universities, thus allowing relationships between academia and industry to grow. Although collaborative and multidisciplinary research is flourishing, problems do arise. This educational module examines the benefits and potential problems that researchers face when engaging in collaborative and multidisciplinary research. Review Learning Objectives
Next: Proceed to a series of "Challenge Questions" that will test your understanding of Collaborative Science or go on to the next section.