How do scholars collaborate?

If you want to know how scholars in a number of different fields collaborate, a recent report from the Center for Studies in Higher Education at UC Berkeley is worthwhile. While the report, Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An Exploration of Faculty Values and Needs in Seven Disciplines, is pretty lengthy at 734 pages, it can be digested in smaller pieces. Each chapter has a section that details how scholars in the fields of archaeology, astrophysics, biology, economics, history, music, and political science collaborate. The authors discuss collaboration in general on page 14-16 of the introduction. The following is just a small excerpt:

Many fields are changing in ways such that “one group of experts can’t do everything.” This is particularly dramatic in fields that require significant computational analysis. Scholars in new music, archaeology, astrophysics, and biology are highly collaborative and rely on large teams of individuals who have varied expertise. Collaborations are not uncommon—although on a smaller relative scale—in history, economics, and political science. Collaborations are usually multidisciplinary by nature. Scholars collaborate for several reasons and, similar to the differing levels of comfort with sharing, the desire for collaborating depends on individual personality.

The culture of collaboration is covered in much more detail in the rest of the book as well.


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