How to build up big team science: a practical guide for large-scale collaborations

R Soc Open Sci. 2023 Jun 7;10(6):230235. doi: 10.1098/rsos.230235. eCollection 2023 Jun.


The past decade has witnessed a proliferation of big team science (BTS), endeavours where a comparatively large number of researchers pool their intellectual and/or material resources in pursuit of a common goal. Despite this burgeoning interest, there exists little guidance on how to create, manage and participate in these collaborations. In this paper, we integrate insights from a multi-disciplinary set of BTS initiatives to provide a how-to guide for BTS. We first discuss initial considerations for launching a BTS project, such as building the team, identifying leadership, governance, tools and open science approaches. We then turn to issues related to running and completing a BTS project, such as study design, ethical approvals and issues related to data collection, management and analysis. Finally, we address topics that present special challenges for BTS, including authorship decisions, collaborative writing and team decision-making.

Keywords: big team science; collaboration; meta-science; science of team science.

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.6662773