Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology
Many contemporary scientific research projects are composed of large numbers of researchers working together to provide solutions to social issues that affect our society. In an attempt to understand and address these issues, projects have been implemented where researchers from a wide variety of disciplines come together and collaborate. As this research includes a variety researchers, it requires a unique approach. Questions such as how to make these projects as effective as possible, how to properly evaluate these projects, and how to gauge the quality and success of these projects need to be answered.
These are directly addressed in this research by evaluating a large team science project called iUTAH (Innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion HydroSustainability). The iUTAH project was established to address water sustainability in Northern Utah, USA, and to bolster the states capacity to address water sustainability.
This research employs face-to-face interviews with researchers involved in iUTAH. Findings from this research highlight the important influence that team size, geographically dispersed team members, the importance of cyberinfrastructure, researcher rank, research focus areas, and in-person meetings have on scientific collaboration. Additionally, findings illuminate multiple dimensions of project success that include traditional indicators of research success (e.g. publications and citations), as well as project specific indicators (e.g. capacity building and relationships) that are unique to collaborative scientific approaches. These findings contribute to the literature and understanding of large team science collaborations, and can be used to inform future projects to ensure they are as effective as possible.
Dean, K. Taylor, "A Sociological Evaluation of a Large Team Science Project: The iUtah Experience" (2018). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 7402.
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