Development of effective quantitative indicators and methodologies to assess the outcomes of cross-disciplinary collaborative initiatives has the potential to improve scientific program management and scientific output. This article highlights an example of a prospective evaluation that has been developed to monitor and improve progress of the National Cancer Institute Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers (PS-OC) program. Study data, including collaboration information, was captured through progress reports and compiled using the web-based analytic database: Interdisciplinary Team Reporting, Analysis, and Query Resource. Analysis of collaborations was further supported by data from the Thomson Reuters Web of Science database, MEDLINE database, and a web-based survey. Integration of novel and standard data sources was augmented by the development of automated methods to mine investigator pre-award publications, assign investigator disciplines, and distinguish cross-disciplinary publication content. The results highlight increases in cross-disciplinary authorship collaborations from pre- To post-award years among the primary investigators and confirm that a majority of cross-disciplinary collaborations have resulted in publications with cross-disciplinary content that rank in the top third of their field. With these evaluation data, PS-OC Program officials have provided ongoing feedback to participating investigators to improve center productivity and thereby facilitate a more successful initiative. Future analysis will continue to expand these methods and metrics to adapt to new advances in research evaluation and changes in the program.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Library and Information Sciences