Incorporating collaboratory concepts into informatics in support of translational interdisciplinary biomedical research

E. Sally Lee, David W. McDonald, Nicholas Anderson, Peter Tarczy-Hornoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Due to its complex nature, modern biomedical research has become increasingly interdisciplinary and collaborative in nature. Although a necessity, interdisciplinary biomedical collaboration is difficult. There is, however, a growing body of literature on the study and fostering of collaboration in fields such as computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) and information science (IS). These studies of collaboration provide insight into how to potentially alleviate the difficulties of interdisciplinary collaborative research. We, therefore, undertook a cross cutting study of science and engineering collaboratories to identify emergent themes. We review many relevant collaboratory concepts: (a) general collaboratory concepts across many domains: communication, common workspace and coordination, and data sharing and management, (b) specific collaboratory concepts of particular biomedical relevance: data integration and analysis, security structure, metadata and data provenance, and interoperability and data standards, (c) environmental factors that support collaboratories: administrative and management structure, technical support, and available funding as critical environmental factors, and (d) future considerations for biomedical collaboration: appropriate training and long-term planning. In our opinion, the collaboratory concepts we discuss can guide planning and design of future collaborative infrastructure by biomedical informatics researchers to alleviate some of the difficulties of interdisciplinary biomedical collaboration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-21
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Volume78
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bioinformatics
  • Biomedical informatics
  • Collaboration
  • Collaboratories
  • Computer supported collaborative work
  • Social and technical issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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