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'Translators' as Contributors in Collaborative Teams

For 20 years, I have worked with researchers in academic settings to help them design, develop and obtain resources to support the research they do. Over those 20 years, I have cultivated relationships and developed partnerships to the benefit of these researchers, sometimes brokering relationships and other times developing partnerships on behalf of others. I am not advancing my own research or research interests. Instead, I am developing my own understanding of what others do with their research and communicating that understanding to other audiences. Knowledge transfer of this sort is somewhat common in academia, and in other sectors such as industry or non-profit organizations, this form of communication might also be referred to as marketing, storytelling, and/or knowledge mobilization.

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What Neuroscientists and Software Developers Discovered in a One-Day Hackathon

The goal: investigate huge amounts of research data in new ways. The pool for teams: neuroscientists, data scientists, and software developers. The result: answering questions we didn’t even know we had.

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An Activity to Improve Idea Generation and Network Brokering

Within a group, a team, a network, or organization that relies on members being connected to one another, connections can be based on a number of factors but almost always rely on the availability, awareness, and mobility of knowledge or information essential to the group. How does information move within a group or across groups? We are interested in identifying catalyzing actions that occur in group interactions to facilitate the ease of information and knowledge exchange and the establishment of new connections of members in the group. Research suggests that ideas have value to the extent that they can be shared with a new or different audience (Burt, 2004). This research also suggests that individuals who can establish new connections within a group bring competitive advantage to the development of new ideas within that group. In our experience, the purposeful translation of ideas to new audiences reduces serendipitous connections and takes advantage of certain individuals’ natural tendencies to broker these connections.

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Mapping Expertise and Illuminating Dark Assets

At some point in your life, you’ve found yourself describing a project you’ve worked on to a friend. They interject, “I’ve done something similar to this before,” and go on to describe a field or skill you didn’t know they were familiar with. You’ve just uncovered some dark assets about your friend: a set of skills or knowledge that were only discovered due to an accidental trigger.

This can be problematic when it comes to group projects, whether you’re working with an existing team or you’re putting one together. The people and tools available to you are limited to those you are aware of or those cataloged in scattered directories and lists across the internet. There are far more dark assets than known assets.

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Shedding Light on the "Black Box” of Collaboration

In Stanley Kubrick’s famous film based on Arthur C. Clark’s book, 2001: A Space Odyssey, a mysterious black monolith appears on Earth millions of years before modern humans. It’s the classic “black box.” We don’t know who made it, what’s in it, or how it works, but it’s miraculous and powerful and somehow results in jumpstarting the entire evolution of humankind.

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Ethical Data Standards to Drive Society Forward

I am constantly amazed by the energy and momentum around data science. Only a few years ago, I would be met with a blank stare when I told someone I planned on going to grad school for machine learning. Today, there is no need for my “it's like computer science, linear algebra, and statistics had a combined love child” analogy as most people instantly respond with “Oh, like AI!”

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Sparking Ideas for Visualizing Innovative Research Teams

A collaborative blog series about collaborative research: a data scientist and a cognitive psychologist combine perspectives.

Dr. Alicia Knoedler: For the past 18 years, I have sought opportunities and means to advocate for researchers working to develop and accelerate their research programs. I had the very fortunate opportunity to meet Dave King in 2014 when he relocated his company to Oklahoma City.

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Mapping Science Networks and Projects to Limit the Rise in Global Temperatures

When the United Nations released a report earlier this year that a catastrophic two-degree Celsius (3.6-degree Fahrenheit) rise in global average temperatures is expected to occur in the next decade, there was a media firestorm about the dire predictions. You know who wasn’t surprised? Climate scientists. (Read about the difference a half-a-degree can make.)

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The Sticky Note Exercise

How do you pick who works together, who reports to whom, and who exchanges information with whom? Usually it gets done within a department, within a project team, or based on some other common ground. It turns out we should be focusing on our differences a bit more.

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