Interventional Researcher Networking – VIVO Conference 2011

Materials from our presentation Interventional Researcher Networking are now available: PDF

Interventions to Increase Awareness and Collaboration among Potential Collaborators


Jeff Horon, MBA, Elsevier, Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.

Antonius Tsai, MBA, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.

Jennifer Hill, BBA, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.


This presentation will describe a set of interventional actions undertaken to increase researchers’ awareness of other researchers in a pool of potential collaborators. In an effort to foster new collaborations within a newly-formed institute, the authors developed a set of novel interventions and implemented them at an institute launch conference. These interventions included:

-Objective detection of researchers working in specific topic areas, to supplement institute founders’ knowledge of researchers working in relevant topic areas with information about previously-unknown researchers also working in these topic areas. Objective detection allowed for increased inclusiveness and comprehensiveness of the launch conference invitee list.

-Introductions based upon data-driven, Netflix-style recommendations: “Please allow us to introduce you to {researcher} due to {reason(s)}.” Introductions were made based upon responses to the institute’s launch conference registration survey. Attendees were matched based upon expressing strong mutual interest in a topic and/or by study method in situations where one researcher expressed a need for expertise in a method and another research expressed the ability to share methodological expertise in the same method. Reciprocal methodological need/provision matches were considered especially strong matches. Existing collaboration data covering co-authored publications and co-participation on sponsored projects were used to rule out matches who had collaborated in the past.

-Seating arrangements based upon the same matching process underlying the introductions

-Conversation-provoking material, including a visualization of attendees arranged according to indicated areas of strong interest

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