Research Collaboration in Medicine.

Buowari DY*
Department of Accident and Emergency, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.
*Correspondence: Dr. Dabota Yvonne Buowari; +234 803 732 4401;

Download full article in pdf format


Background: Collaboration is necessary for medical practice including research. Research collaboration is important to give credibility to research and it allows the same research to be conducted in different settings and countries. Collaboration in research is beneficial as funding and grants application can be easier.
Method: This is a review article on research collaboration in medicine. A literature search of articles on medical research collaboration was done using Google Scholar, Medline and PubMed.
Conclusion: There are various forms of research collaboration with several advantages and also challenges. One of the major challenges of research collaboration is conflict in authorship. Trust and good communication form part of the ingredients for a successful research collaboration. A well-selected and well-resourced team of research collaborators, in which authorship is based on substantial contribution and authors arranged according to the extent of their contributions rather than by sentiment is recommended. The leader of such a collaboration should have leadership skills.

Keywords: Research, Collaboration, Partnership, Conflict of Authorship.

Cite this article: Buowari DY. Research Collaboration in Medicine. Yen Med J. 2022;4(1):16–22.


  1. Bansal S, Mahendiratta S, Kumar S, Sarma P, Prahash A, Medli B. Collaborative research in the modern era: Need and challenges. Indian J Pharmacol. 2019;51(3): 137-139. 
  2. Kumar S. Ethical concerns in the rise of coauthorship and its role as a proxy of research collaboration. Publication. 2018;6(3):37. 
  3. Huang JS. Building research collaboration networks – An interpersonal perspective for research capacity building. J Res Admin. 2014;45(2):89-112. 
  4. Nystrom ME, Karftun J, Keller G, Gare BA. Collaboration and partnership research for the improvement of health and social services: researcher’s experiences from 20 projects. Health Res Policy Systems. 2018;16:46. 
  5. Rahman GA. Scientific medical research and publication in Nigeria. Nig J Surg Res. 2005;7(3- 4):244-250. 
  6. Abramo G, D’Angelo CA, Solazzi M. Are researchers that collaborate more at the international level for performers? An investigation on the Italian university system. J Informetrics. 2011;5(1):204- 213. doi.10.1016/j.jei.2010.11.022. 
  7. Kerasidou A. The role of trust in global health research collaboration. Bioethics. 2018;33(4):495- 501. Doi:10111/bioe.12536. 
  8. Lezama-Solano A, Castro M, Chambers D, Timberg L, Koppel K, Chambers E, et al. Benefits, Challenges, and Opportunities of Conducting a Collaborative Research Course in an International University Partnership: A Study Case Between Kansas State University and Tallinn University of Technology. J Food Sci Educ. 2019;18:78-86. doi.10.1111/1541-43 29-12162. 
  9. Katsouyanni, K. Collaborative research: Accomplishments & potential. Environ Health. 2008;7:3. 
  10. Delgadillo LM. Best practices for collaboration research. Fam Consumer Sci Res J. 2016;45(1):5-8.
  11. Katz JS, Martin BR. What is research collaboration? Res Policy. 1997;26:1-8. 
  12. Huggett KN, Gusic ME, Greenberg R, Ketterer JM. Twelve tips for conducting collaborative research in medical education. Med Teacher. 2011;33:713-718. 
  13. Green BN, Johnson CD. Inter-professional collaboration in research, education and clinical practice – working together for a better future education research service. J Chinopr Educ. 2015;19(4):1-10. 
  14. Royal Society, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Academy of Medical Sciences. The role of international collaboration and mobility in research: findings from a qualitative and quantitative study with fellows and grant recipients of the Royal Society, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Academy of Medical Sciences. Available from: Accessed February 27, 2022. 
  15. Varnai P, Rentel M, Davé M, De Scalzi M, Timmerman W, Rosemberg-Montes C, et al. The impact of collaboration: the value of UK medical research to EU Science and health. Available from: /main_report_v8.pdf. Accessed February 27, 2022. 
  16. Cahill T, Fitzgerald J, Brass K, Parolin C, for the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Measuring the value of international research collaboration: Report prepared for the Department of Industry and Science. Available from: Accessed February 27, 2022. 
  17. Murray M, Mubiligi J. An approach to building equitable global health research collaborations. Ann Glob Health. 2020;18(1):126-131. 
  18. Olmos-Penuela J, Molas-Gallart J, Castro-Martnez E. The role of informal collaborations in the social sciences and humanities. Paper presented at: EuSPRI Forum Conference: Management of Innovation Policies; April 10, 2013; Madrid, Spain. mosInformality.pdf. Accessed February 28, 2022. 
  19. Mydin F, Radin A. Rahman RSA, Wan Mohammad WMR. Research collaboration: enhancing the research skills and self-confidence of early career academics. Asian J Univ Educ. 2021;17(3):142-153. 
  20. Vabø V, Alvsvåg A, Kyvik S, Reymert I. The establishment of formal research groups in higher education institutions. Nordic J Stud Educ Policy. 2016;2-3:33896. DOI: 10.3402/nstep.v2.33896.
  21. Kyrik S, Reymert I. Research collaboration in groups and networks: differences across academic field. Scientometrics. 2017;113:951-967. Doi.10.1007/s11192-017-2497-5. 
  22. Mijdzadeh R, Nedjat S, Gholami J, Nedjat S, Maleki K, Qorbani M et al. Research collaboration in Tehran University of Medical Sciences: two decades after integration. Health Res Policy Syst. 2009;7:8. doi,1186/1478-4505-7-8. 
  23. Kanmodi K, Ekundayo O, Adebayo O, Efuntoye O, Ogunsuji O, Ibiyo M et al, on behalf of Research Collaboration Network (RCN). Challenges of residency training and early career doctors in Nigeria study (CHARTING STUDY): a protocol paper. Niger J Med. 2019;28(2):198-205. 
  24. National Association of Resident Doctors. Initiative trainee research collaboration network: a NARD initiative in Nigeria. Abuja, Nigeria: National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD); 2019. 
  25. Ibiyo M, Ekundayo OO, Kanmodi KK, Olaopa O, Amoo A, Egbuchulem IK et al. Experiences of investigators in a trainee-led research collaboration among early-career doctors in Nigeria (CHARTING STUDY). Yen Med J. 2021;3(1):59-66. 
  26. Cope AP, Barnes MR, Belson A, Bints M, Brockbank S, Bonachela-Capdevila F, et al. The RA-MAP Consortium: a working model for Yenagoa Medical Journal Vol. 4 No. 1, January 2022 21 | P a g e academia-industry collaboration [published correction appears in Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2018 Jan 24;14 (2):119]. Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2018;14(1):53- 60. 
  27. Okpu T, Obiora JN. International research collaboration and national development: the Nigerian experience. Int J Adv Res Soc Eng Dev Strat. 2014;2(1):13-19. 
  28. Neuhauser, L., Richardson, D., Mackenzie, S., Minkler, M. Advancing transdisciplinary and translational research practice: Issues and models of doctoral education in public health. J Res Pract. 2017;3(2):Article M19. 7. 
  29. Abramo, G., D’Angelo, C.A., Di Costa, F. The effect of multidisciplinary collaborations on research diversification. Scientometrics. 2018;116(1):423- 433. DOI: 10.1007/s11192-018-2746-2. 
  30. Bruhn JG. Beyond discipline: creating a culture for interdisciplinary research. Integr Psychol Behav Sci. 1995;30(4):331-341. 
  31. Stock P, Burton RJF. Defining terms for integrated (multi-inter-trans-disciplinary) sustainability research. Sustainability. 2011;3:1090-1113. doi:10.3390/su3081090. 
  32. Departure Point: Our approach to Interdisciplinarity. In: Lyall C, Bruce A, Tait J, Meagher L. Interdisciplinary Research Journeys: Practical Strategies for Capturing Creativity. London: Bloomsbury Academic; 2011:7–24. 
  33. Krishnan A. Five strategies for practicing interdisciplinarity. NCRM Working Paper. Southampton, UK: National Centre for research methods; 2009. 
  34. Aarts E, Valcke P, Wilthagen T. A time for interdisciplinarity. A Tilburg university essay on interdisciplinarity. Tilburg, Netherlands: Tilburg University; 2018. 
  35. Qin J, Lancester FW, Allen B. Types and levels of collaboration in interdisciplinary research in the sciences. J Am Soc Infor Sci. 1997;48(10):893-916. 
  36. Lustig LC, Ponzielli R, Tang PS, et al. Guiding principles for a successful multidisciplinary research collaboration. Future Sci OA. 2015;1(3):FSO7. 
  37. Zuo Z, Zhao K. The more multidisciplinary the better? – the prevalence and interdisciplinarity of research collaborations in multidisciplinary institutions. J informatics. 2018;12(3):736-756. 
  38. Lee JY, Chung E. Citation impact of collaboration from intra- and inert- disciplinary perspectives: a case study of Korea. J Inf Sci Theory Pract. 2018;6(1):65-82. 
  39. Misra S, Hall K, Feing A, Stipelman B, Stokols D. Collaborative processes in transdisciplinary research. In: Kirst M, Schaefer-McDaniel N, Hwang S, O’Campo P, eds. Converging disciplines: a transdisciplinary research approach to urban health. New York: Springer; 2011:97-110. 
  40. Fuqua J, Stokols D, Gress J, Phillips K, Harvey R. Transdisciplinary collaboration as a basis for enhancing the science and prevention of substance use and misuse. Subst Use Misuse. 2004;39(10- 12):1457-1514. 
  41. Rosenfield, P.L. The potential of transdisciplinary research for sustaining and extending linkages between the health and social sciences. Soc Sci Med. 1992;35:1343-1357. 
  42. Hadern GH, Biber-Klemm S, GrossenbacherMansuy W, Hoffmann-Riem H, Joye D, Pohl C, et al. The emergence of transdisciplinarity as a form of research. In: Hadorn GH, Hoffmann-Riem H, BiberKlemm S, Grossenbacher-Mansuy W, Joye D, Pohl C, et al, eds. Handbook of transdisciplinary research. Berlin/Heidelberg, Germany: Springer; 2008:19-39. 
  43. Geriatric Medicine Research Collaborative. Innovations in geriatric medicine: inception and dissemination of national trainee-led research collaboration. Royal College of Physicians. Future Healthc J. 2019;6(S1):118. DOI: 10.7861/futurehosp.6-1-s118. 
  44. Abou-Ali A, Ludwig-Maximilians A, Dziubinska A, Gracia AP, Panstain AM, Grimm AL, et al. Research collaborations, a guide for early career researchers by early career researchers. LERU Doctoral Summer School building research capacity and collaborative global community. The University of Edinburg. 
  45. Keraniniyage K, Amaratunga D, Haigh R. Achieving success in collaborative research; the role of virtual research environments. J Inter Tech Construction. 2020;14:59-69. 
  46. Smith E, Willims-Jones B, Master Z, Lariviere V, Sugimoto CR, Paul-Hus A, et al. Misconduct and misbehavior related to authorship disagreements in collaborative science. Sci Eng Ethics. 2020;26(2): 1967–1993. 00112-4. 
  47. Cooke SJ, Young N, Donaldson MR, Nyboer EA, Roche DG, Madliger CL, et al. Ten strategies for avoiding and overcoming authorship conflicts in academic publishing. FACETS. 2021:1753–1770. doi:10.1139/facets2021-0103. 
  48. Rohwer A, Young T, Wager E, et al. Authorship, plagiarism and conflict of interest: views and practices from low/middle-income country health researchers. BMJ Open. 2017;7:e018467. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2017-018467. 
  49. Mcdonald J, Jayasuriya R, Harris MF. The influence of power dynamics and trust on multidisciplinary collaboration: a qualitative case study of type 2 diabetes mellitus. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;12:63. 6963/12163. 
  50. Andress L, Hall T, Davis S, Levine J, Cripps K, Guinn D. Addressing power dynamics in community-engaged research partnerships. J Patient-Rep Outcomes. 2020;4:24. 
  51. Aijazi O, Amburgey E, Limbu B, Suji M, Binks J, Balaz-Mann C, et al. The ethnography of collaboration: Navigating power relationships in joint research. Collab Anthropol. 2021;13(2):56-99. 
  52. Teixeira da Silva JA, Al-Khatib A. Copyright transfer in group-authored scientific publications. Insights. 2021;34(7):1–14. DOI: 
  53. Pimple KD. Authorship in scientific and academic research. CORE Issues in Professional and Research Ethics. 2012;1(4). 
  54. Bennett DM, Taylor DM. Unethical practices in authorship of scientific papers. Emerg Med. 2003;15:263-270. 
  55. Matías-Guiu J, García-Ramos R. Ghost-authors, improvement article communication, and medical publications. Neurología. 2011;26(5):257-261. 
  56. Bavdekar SB. Authorship issues. Lung India. 2012;29:76-80. 
  57. Albarracin MLG, Castro CM, Chaparro PE. Importance, definition and conflicts of authorship in scientific publications. Rev. bioét. (Impr.). 2020;28(1):10-6. Doi.10.1590/1983- 80422020281361.
  58. Fleming N. Sidelined: how to tackle authorship disputes. Nature. 2021;594:459-462.
Scroll to Top
× Chat