The Collaboration Score is based on an algorithm that measures participants’ levels of sharing and interaction on team projects. Findings and insights are discussed on the Collaboration Platform where they are given provenance, archived, indexed, and potentially published in Rapid Science Open. This tracking can be unlocked for funders and administrators, providing an alternative to publishing metrics as a means of rewarding effective work on projects they sponsor. The system can also be used without the metric to review investigators’ contributions, sorted by topic and type (e.g., protocol, dataset, peer review, replication, co-authoring) for the duration of a collaborative project.

The prototypes shown here were developed with generous funding from the NIH Common Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Peaked Hill Fund. Sarcoma Central is a pilot project involving clinical researchers collaborating on drug discovery for this rare disease.  Additional pilot research teams are needed and we have begun to assemble experts from diverse disciplines to advise, formulate, workshop and test the algorithm.

NOTE: An interactive (clickable) demo of these pages, without the explanatory details below, is also available.   

Click screenshots to view full size

This is the private landing page of a team member in our pilot community, Sarcoma Central. The left panel shows the member’s C-Score compared with the team average, and credits accrued for sharing content and interacting with collaborators. The middle panel shows the Activity Feed with the latest content shared by, or with, the member and the groups she belongs to. Credits attributed to the member are shown next to each entry. The right panel displays the member’s groups and group scores, signaling levels of activity.

Project members can “unlock” their scores and content for fellow researchers, funders, and administrators. This Admin view is similar to a member’s personal dashboard, but displays only that individual’s activity and credits. Viewers can filter, search, and drill down to the contributions of interest.

Members can join or create open and closed groups on the fly, and invite validated members of the research team to participate. The left panel shows the group’s C-Score over time and its comparison with the average of all active groups. The leaderboard lists the top three contributors but not their scores. The logged-in member can view only her credits.

Discussions can be launched from all posted content as well as independently. Credits accrue according to a formula shown below; the originator of the post is rewarded for all activity in the discussion and participants are rewarded for responses they generate. Because this page is the originator’s logged-in view, she can see the components of her score by clicking on her name.

Note the right panel that displays all those with whom the discussion is shared. The originator of the post determines whether other members can share it further.

The continually updated Field Guide serves as the group’s “conference room” in which their results are discussed in the context of newly published preprints and peer-reviewed articles. The Rapid Science Facilitator writes and maintains this “review” and taps team members to annotate it based on their latest findings—for example, whether the latest evidence is supported or challenged.

Annotated discussions originate as notes, open questions, or proposed revisions (which may be citations of a group member’s incremental or null results; an example of this is shown as a callout above right). Group-designated reviewers/editors on the team can approve revisions which are then green-flagged and incorporated in the review by the facilitator. Periodically the latest version is formally peer reviewed and made available to the public as a nuanced review of the project topic (see Rapid Science Open below).

Author order on the publication is based on credited contributions. Citing early results and posting them as micropublications is awarded the most credit. Clicking on the author names shows how each participated and their resulting credits. (See dropdown above left; this is the only instance in which members can see each other’s credits.)

This is the open access section along the project continuum. The Sarcoma Central channel is shown with the latest version of the project’s Field Guide and its cited micropublications. This open diary of the project is intended only for collaborators’ works-in-progress; it is not a conventional journal for formal papers that emanate from the team’s research. (Note: participants may choose to post their cited micropublications in other open access repositories, e.g., F1000Research or bioRxiv; the Guide would link out to them.)

Discussion and group-creation tools that are available to team members in their closed space are also available to public registrants of Rapid Science Open. Useful public responses are curated by the facilitator for the project collaborators’ review. Most importantly, ongoing revisioning and versioning by team members at this juncture (post-publication) are encouraged and credited.

The complete (exemplary) credit system can be viewed by following this link; the diagram above shows how credits are accrued in discussions, which are a subset of activities reflected in the C-Score. The originator is rewarded for all activity in the discussion, and participants are rewarded for responses they generate. The logged-in member can see her score by clicking on her name.

Activities and credits shown here are for demonstration purposes only; they have been developed with feedback from researchers but will require extensive workshopping and piloting as the algorithm is formulated. See our growing team of advisors.