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[ Industry trends ] August 11, 2022

What is a collaboratory?

If you’re wondering what a collaboratory for the world’s early-stage is, look no further: it is a portmanteau of collaboration and laboratory, powered by our community-focused platform. Our goal is to bring collaboration further upstream in the research lifecycle so that breakthroughs happen faster.

A history of the "collaboratory"

We aren’t the only ones to come up with this word. In fact, it has existed in one form or another for forty years. We’re reclaiming it for early-stage research.

Watch our video here.

 

An integrated system

Collaboratories are a happy union between researchers and technology. In 1989, William Wulf spoke about collaboratories as border-free digital spaces where researchers could interact freely through access to computation and technology resources. 

Later, in 1998, Bly refined that idealistic view of the research world and spoke about collaboratories as the integration of tool-oriented computing and the scientific community. Collaboration, powered by technology. 

Critical to all definitions are several key components: an experimental environment, computing and communication technologies that enable sharing, and the creative minds of the world’s researchers.

 

A global trend

As the scientific community becomes more global, the need to use technology to work together and accelerate progress becomes increasingly urgent. 

Collaboratories have popped up in many disciplines, from the biomedical sciences to the computing world. Even Google has facilitated a collaboratory (although for them, it's a colaboratory) and it functions as a space to share code in virtual notebooks.

 

What collaboratory means to us at Morressier

Imagine a virtual laboratory where scientists share their in-progress or early-stage findings with their community. In that virtual laboratory, scientists can examine data sets, watch videos, read presentations, and interact with each other. Science’s earliest ideas inspire collaboration.

 

Collaborate early for stronger research integrity

Improving public trust in science is one of the most important things we can facilitate. Trust comes from consistency and comprehension, but we can make it easier by focusing on research integrity. 

Our collaboratory, home of discussion and debate around in-progress or early findings, will support research integrity in the final version of record at the end of the publishing lifecycle. Researchers can refine their ideas, learn from their peers, and easily add layers of evaluation to future trending breakthroughs with our integrity checks and streamlined Peer Review Workflows.

 

Can a collaboratory improve member retention?

Another major benefit  of a collaboratory is how well-suited it is to your members’ needs. Each year, technology that facilitates collaboration improves, but it somehow still feels hard to connect. Early career researchers especially crave collaboration opportunities. 

Pushing collaboration further upstream in the research lifecycle helps your members improve mentor-mentee relationships. It also helps with networking and enables you to identify emerging leaders in the discipline. Add on the improved career progression with more research output and a platform that prioritizes researcher reward and recognition and it's an easy decision.

 

In conclusion

Collaboratories are a creative way to conceptualize the importance of collaboration in research. Part teamwork, part discovery, part sharing, and all are powered by technology solutions that grow more advanced every year. 

Morressier is here to change the way you approach early-stage research. We can help you engage your members, build new revenue streams, and keep your workflows as efficient as possible. And the end result? A collaboratory that propels science into the future.

 

You can also download our eBook, The Power of Global Access, to get our take on why global collaboration is what we need for a thriving future.