Within the world of research we often emphasize collaborations as one of the keys and no one in their sound mind could argue that it has not contributed to many of the great success stories of research and development. No man is an island in science! 

Collaboration is also sometimes asked to be quantified in a research application. Here one can apply a very broad view on collaboration, anything from a briefly established contact to interconnected projects and shared students could be considered as collaboration to win that desirable funds. The end justifies the means in science!    

However many of these examples above does not qualify as true collaboration, at least not according to the profound discussions we had the past two weeks in the ONL202 course were we define collaboration as working together in order to achieve a single shared goal. Behind every great scientist… are a bunch of other scientists!

As many of the research questions, at least in the field of biology were I am active, is getting more complex the need for collaboration is larger than ever. This means that partners in a project needs different skills to solve a complex problem and result in a successful outcome. A successful outcome in most research projects are scientific publications, but when trying to quantify this is seems as more collaborations does not correlate with more publications. Although for the rest of the world, the society outside the tiny sphere of research, it is not so much the quantity of scientific publications that is important, rather the quality thereof. And there is where I think collaboration works at its best, more researchers thinking critically on the same problem, from different points of view, challinging each others ideas. Collaboration is not rocket science, it is quality science!

The Impact of Research Collaboration on Scientific Productivity
October 2005 Social Studies of Science 35:673-702 
DOI: 10.1177/0306312705052359
Sooho Lee & Barry Bozeman
Not rocket science!