Dodds, W. K., J. R. Webster, C. L. Crenshaw, A. M. Helton, J. M. O'Brien, E. Martí, A. E. Hershey, J. L. Tank, A. J. Burgin, N. B. Grimm, S. K. Hamilton, D. J. Sobota, G. C. Poole, J. J. Beaulieu, L. T. Johnson, L. R. Ashkenas, H. , Jr, S. L. Johnson, W. M. Wollheim, and W. B. Bowden. 2014. The Lotic Intersite Nitrogen Experiments: an example of successful ecological research collaboration. Freshwater Science 33:700-710.
Collaboration is an essential skill for modern ecologists because it brings together diverse expertise, viewpoints, and study systems. The Lotic Intersite Nitrogen eXperiments (LINX I and II), a 17-y research endeavor involving scores of early- to late-career stream ecologists, is an example of the benefits, challenges, and approaches of successful collaborative research in ecology. The scientific success of LINX reflected tangible attributes including clear scientific goals (hypothesis-driven research), coordinated research methods, a team of cooperative scientists, excellent leadership, extensive communication, and a philosophy of respect for input from all collaborators. Intangible aspects of the collaboration included camaraderie and strong team chemistry. LINX further benefited from being part of a discipline in which collaboration is a tradition, clear data-sharing and authorship guidelines, an approach that melded field experiments and modeling, and a shared collaborative goal in the form of a universal commitment to see the project and resulting data products through to completion.
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