Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Partnering on research

Partnering on research projects can be a way to maximize your time and efforts, learn new methods/approaches yourself, and add a layer of accountability. Some institutions and tenure/promotion committees want to see single-author publications, and others accept and value collaborative works. You can see from my vitae, the little girl who hated group work in grade school has learned how to co-author and co-present.

So if you're ready to partner up, let me offer these thoughts:
  1. Test run. Pick a small project to start. This could be a co-authored guest blog post or regional panel. You will be able to see how each other works. And it's OK if it's not a good fit.
  2. Consider your threshold for deadlines and procrastination. Before my little one arrived, I was up for late night writing sessions that pushed deadlines to within seconds. Now, I can't guarantee you that kind of window of work. I work much more in advance because I must.
  3. Find partners with complementary skills sets. Maybe you have a great network for survey solicitation, and your partner is a strong statistician. Find someone to strengthen your gaps and vice versa.
  4. Cross disciplines. Find ways to bridge the silos and connect with colleagues in different departments. This also opens your work to more publication options.
  5. Communicate. Discuss openly issues like order of authorship and timelines before beginning a project. 
  6. Going separate ways. You're kind of like a band. Play while it works. Strike out for a solo tour when you need, and be open to the reunion project.