Reward Metrics

The C-Score: Incentivizing Collaboration

The Collaboration Score was conceived by Rapid Science and its advisors, representing diverse expertise in biomedical research, biostatistics, publishing, informatics, technology, philanthropy and open science advocacy. Over the years it has evolved based on real-time problem solving with clinical researchers in the areas of prostate cancer, sarcoma, and Parkinson’s disease. The C-Score will provide funders and administrators an alternative to publishing metrics as a means of rewarding effective work on projects they sponsor.

How it Works

The metric is designed for use on a document-sharing / discussion platform such as Google Docs. It is based on an algorithm that measures, according to the needs of the project, levels of sharing, discussing, reviewing, and coauthoring by investigators on the platform. A research outputs management system (ROMS – see xxx) can be employed to track investigators’ work and their participation in collaborative activities. Other activities such as meeting attendance, presentations at conferences, etc can be logged manually.

Metrics & Rewards for All

In addition to the metric, individual interactions and content can be assessed qualitatively through archiving and making searchable participants’ contributions, diminishing the possibilities for gaming scores. This also provides drill-down for hiring, career advancement and funding assessments by those who have expertise on the topic.

While this system has been designed for specific projects (cancer and PD), as shown in the models below, it has not yet been tested in real time.

1. Credit Attribution

Credit Attribution

Credits for collaborative activities are determined at the start of the project. This sample can be viewed in full by clicking on the partial table.

2. Team Dashboard with C-Score

This shows one team’s C-Score in the banner of their dashboard. In the animation, clicking the number reveals a dropdown of the group’s activity over time and its comparison with the average of all active groups. The leaderboard lists the current top three contributors but not their scores.

3. Individual Dashboard with C-Score

Click the C-Score at top right to see a dropdown of this researcher’s contributions and credits. While the score is visible only to herself, others can view her contributions and standing in the initiative. Individuals can unlock their scores in an admin view for fellow researchers, funders etc.

4. Grantee’s Annual Collaboration Report

Annual Report

Sample annual report generated for the funder and other interested evaluators.

5. Open Narrative as Versioned Preprint

This video demonstrates features of an Open Narrative preprint with versioning information beneath the author’s names. Note authorship by the team members (and the Editorial Facilitator who writes and maintains the versioned snapshots), listed in order of their C-Scores. Clicking authors’ names reveals how they participated and their resulting credits.

More detailed demos of the C-Score system have been designed and are available upon request.

Many thanks to retired Board Chair Bruce Alberts for strategizing and communicating the role and urgency of a new reward system for collaboration. His extraordinarily valuable feedback and encouragement were offered with patience and grace for more than a decade since the founding of Rapid Science.