Skills for Successful Collaboration

Sci Technol Libr (New York, NY). 2013;32(2):160-175.

Librarians as Part of Cross-Disciplinary, Multi-Institutional Team Projects: Experiences from the VIVO Collaboration.

Garcia-Milian R, Norton HF, Auten B, Davis VI, Holmes KL, Johnson M, Tennant MR.

Cross-disciplinary, team-based collaboration is essential for addressing today's complex research questions, and librarians are increasingly entering into suchcollaborations. This study identifies skills needed as librarians integrate into cross-disciplinary teams, based on the experiences of librarians involved in the development and implementation of VIVO, a research discovery and collaboration platform. Participants discussed the challenges, skills gained, and lessons learned throughout the project. Their responses were analyzed in the light of the science of team science literature, and factors affecting collaboration on the VIVO team were identified. Skills in inclusive thinking, communication, perseverance, adaptability, and leadership were found to be essential.

PMCID: PMC3700548 [Available on 2014/6/14]
PMID: 23833333



Are systematic reviews up-to-date at the time of publication?

PMCID: PMC3674908

From the discussion:

Of the 90% of our 300 systematic reviews that provided a date of search, the median time from last search to publication was 8.0 months. This is an improvement over the results reported in 2008 where the median time was around 14 months [10]. However, the distribution in our study was skewed, with around 10% of reviews having a last search date to publication time of more than 18 months. Since reviews can date rapidly [8], this delay is important to users of reviewers.

For a reader searching for an up-to-date review, the relevant date is that of the last search not the date of publication, but this was provided in only 47% of abstracts. Hence readers would need to check, and possibly purchase, the full text to determine recency. Similarly, readers may wish to know the list of databases searched to assess completeness of the review, but this was missing from 40% of abstracts.

The time from search to publication can be usefully compared with the half-life of a review’s conclusions. One analysis of 100 systematic reviews found the half-life was 5.5 years until there was a change in the clinical conclusions of a review [8]. That analysis also found that 7% of reviews were out of date on the day of publication. That is, new research that changed the clinical conclusions was published between the date of search and the date of publication. This is consistent with our finding of a median time from last search to publication delay of 8.0 months.

We found no previous studies on the reporting of dates in abstracts, but several studies have examined the search dates and other items in the full text of reviews. An analysis of 65 Cochrane reviews found that 91% reported the years searched, but only 11% gave the date of last search [13]. Similarly, a study of 297 systematic reviews found that 70% reported the dates covered by the search, and 77% gave the end date of search, but these were better reported in Cochrane reviews (83% and 91%, respectively) than in non-Cochrane reviews (60% and 67%, respectively) [14].

Beller EM, Chen JK, Wang UL, Glasziou PP. Are systematic reviews up-to-date at the time of publication? Syst Rev. 2013 May 28;2:36. doi: 10.1186/2046-4053-2-36. PMCID: PMC3674908.


What Motivates Us At Work?

The video's worth watching, but you can get the gist from these studies:

1. Seeing the fruits of our labor may make us more productive.

The Study
In a study conducted at Harvard University, Ariely asked participants to build characters from Lego’s Bionicles series. In both conditions, participants were paid decreasing amounts for each subsequent Bionicle: $3 for the first one, $2.70 for the next one, and so on. But while one group’s creations were stored under the table, to be disassembled at the end of the experiment, the other group’s Bionicles were disassembled as soon as they’d been built. “This was an endless cycle of them building and we destroying in front of their eyes,” Ariely says.

The Results
: The first group made 11 Bionicles, on average, while the second group made only seven before they quit.

The Upshot
: Even though there wasn’t huge meaning at stake, and even though the first group knew their work would be destroyed at the end of the experiment, seeing the results of their labor for even a short time was enough to dramatically improve performance.


2. Knowing that our work helps others may increase our unconscious motivation

The Study: As described in a recent New York Times Magazine profile, psychologist Adam Grant led a study at a University of Michigan fundraising call center in which  student who had benefited from the center’s scholarship fundraising efforts spoke to the callers for 10 minutes

The Results: A month later, the callers were spending 142 percent more time on the phone than before, and revenues had increased by 171 percent, according to the Times. But the callers denied the scholarship students’ visit had impacted them.

The Upshot: “It was almost as if the good feelings had bypassed the callers’ conscious cognitive processes and gone straight to a more subconscious source of motivation,” the Times reports. “They were more driven to succeed, even if they could not pinpoint the trigger for that drive.”


3. The harder a project is, the prouder we feel of it

The Study: In another study, Ariely gave origami novices paper and instructions to build a (pretty ugly) form. Those who did the origami project, as well as bystanders, were asked at the end how much they’d pay for the product. In a second trial, Ariely hid the instructions from some participants, resulting in a harder process — and an uglier product.

The Results: In the first experiment, the builders paid five times as much as those who just evaluated the product. In the second experiment, the lack of instructions exaggerated this difference: builders valued the ugly-but-difficult products even more highly than the easier, prettier ones, while observers valued them even less.

The Upshot: Our valuation of our own work is directly tied to the effort we’ve expended. (Plus, we erroneously think that other people will ascribe the same value to our own work as we do.)


4. The less appreciated we feel our work is, the more money we want to do it

The Study: Ariely gave study participants — students at MIT — a piece of paper filled with random letters, and asked them to find pairs of identical letters. Each round, they were offered less money than the previous round. People in the first group wrote their names on their sheets and handed them to the experimenter, who looked it over and said “Uh huh” before putting it in a pile. People in the second group didn’t write down their names, and the experimenter put their sheets in a pile without looking at them. People in the third group had their work shredded immediately upon completion.

The Results: People whose work was shredded needed twice as much money as those whose work was acknowledged in order to keep doing the task. People in the second group, whose work was saved but ignored, needed almost as much money as people whose work was shredded.

The Upshot: “Ignoring the performance of people is almost as bad as shredding their effort before their eyes,” Ariely says. “The good news is that adding motivation doesn’t seem to be so difficult. The bad news is that eliminating motivation seems to be incredibly easy, and if we don’t think about it carefully, we might overdo it.”

There are a few more studies referenced in the story

[via Stephen's Lighthouse]


The Perfect Swing (from Michigan Engineering)


User Satisfaction With EHRs

Was just talking about EHR usability with a colleague.  From the ACP:

“Dissatisfaction is increasing regardless of practice type or EHR system,” said Michael S. Barr, MD, MBA, FACP, who leads ACP's Medical Practice, Professionalism & Quality division. “These findings highlight the need for the Meaningful Use program and EHR manufacturers to focus on improving EHR features and usability to help reduce inefficient work flows, improve error rates and patient care, and for practices to recognize the importance of ongoing training at all stages of EHR adoption.”

The findings are from 4,279 responses to multiple surveys developed and analyzed by ACP and AmericanEHR Partners between March 2010 and December 2012. Of the clinicians who responded to the surveys, 71 percent were in practices of 10 physicians or less and 82 percent of respondents intend to participate in Meaningful Use incentive programs, up from 65 percent in 2010.