Measuring quality and outcomes of research collaborations: An integrative review


Although the science of team science is no longer a new field, the measurement of team science and its standardization remain in relatively early stages of development. To describe the current state of team science assessment, we conducted an integrative review of measures of research collaboration quality and outcomes.


Collaboration measures were identified using both a literature review based on specific keywords and an environmental scan. Raters abstracted details about the measures using a standard tool. Measures related to collaborations with clinical care, education, and program delivery were excluded from this review.


We identified 44 measures of research collaboration quality, which included 35 measures with reliability and some form of statistical validity reported. Most scales focused on group dynamics. We identified 89 measures of research collaboration outcomes; 16 had reliability and 15 had a validity statistic. Outcome measures often only included simple counts of products; publications rarely defined how counts were delimited, obtained, or assessed for reliability. Most measures were tested in only one venue.


Although models of collaboration have been developed, in general, strong, reliable, and valid measurements of such collaborations have not been conducted or accepted into practice. This limitation makes it difficult to compare the characteristics and impacts of research teams across studies or to identify the most important areas for intervention. To advance the science of team science, we provide recommendations regarding the development and psychometric testing of measures of collaboration quality and outcomes that can be replicated and broadly applied across studies.

Beth B. Tigges (1), Doriane Miller (2), Katherine M. Dudding (3), Joyce E. Balls-Berry (4),Elaine A. Borawski (5), Gaurav Dave (6), Nathaniel S. Hafer (7), Kim S. Kimminau (8), Rhonda G. Kost (9), Kimberly Littlefield (10), Jackilen Shannon (11), Usha Menon (12) and The Measures of Collaboration Workgroup of the Collaboration and Engagement Domain Task Force, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health

1 University of New Mexico, College of Nursing, Albuquerque, NM, USA; 2 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Chicago Hospitals, Chicago, IL, USA; 3 Department of Family, Community and Health Systems, University of Arizona, College of Nursing, Tucson, AZ, USA; 4 Division of Epidemiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA; 5 Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA; 6 Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA; 7 Center for Clinical and Translational Science, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA; 8 University of Kansas Medical Center, Family Medicine and Community Health, Kansas City, KS, USA; 9 The Rockefeller University, Clinical Research Support Office, New York, NY, USA; 10 University of North Carolina Greensboro, Office of Research and Engagement, Greensboro, NC, USA; 11 Oregon Health and Sciences University, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, Portland, OR, USA and 12 University of South Florida College of Nursing, Tampa, FL, USA
Journal of Clinical and Translational Science
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