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Research Building Blocks: Collaboration

How to Identify Potential Collaborators is a social networking site for over 80 academics whose mission is to "accelerate the world's research. Through you can drafts of research papers for comments and feedback, "follow" individual researchers and research interests, and view analytics on users who have viewed your papers. There are also more analytic features available in the paid premium account option. While it is not an open access repository, states that it supports the open science and open access movements, in particular the instant distribution of research.


Mendeley is a free reference manager that can help you organize your research and automatically generate bibliographies, but it also an academic social network of 6 million researchers that allows easily collaborate with others online and discover the latest research based on what you're reading. You can create and join groups, search for researchers with similar interests, and Mendeley can also send you personalized suggestions of articles to read and researchers to follow. 


ResearchGate is a professional network of over 15 million scientists and researchers where you can share your papers, provides metrics on research impact, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. ResearchGate is able to recommend researchers with similar interests based on your publication profile and allows you to "follow" individual researchers and research topics so that you can connect and collaborate with researchers from all over the world.

SciVal (available for faculty/students at U of T)

SciVal enables you to get a high level overview of the research performance of your institutions, other institutions, countries or groups of researchers, benchmark yourself or your institution against peers, explore collaborative partnerships, and discover current research trends. Your Scopus profile can be added to SciVal. 

Collaborative Writing Tools

Google Drive 

Google Drive allows you to store, share, and work on files such as documents, spreadsheets, slides, and forms with other collaborators. 

Dropbox Paper 

Paper is a collaborative document-editing service developed by Dropbox. It has task management tools that you can use to assign to-dos, add due dates, and annotate documents. Paper can also be added to your calendar to make it easier to find documents for your meetings. 


Authorea is an online collaborative writing tool that allows researchers to write and cite documents together through collaborative editing, attach references, figures, data, and source code, and publish. It's been described as "Google Docs for scientists". There are free and paid versions. The free version lets you have unlimited public documents, public storage space, and an unlimited number of collaborators per document.


PubPub is a service that allows you to host and publish your entire journal on their platform. You can accept submissions, manage peer review, publish to the web, export to print, etc. There is a free "community" option that contains all of PubPub's core drafting, review, publishing and dicussion features for unlimited publications along with a paid for "full service" option. 

Open Science Framework

The Open Science Framework is a tool that promotes open, centralized workflows by enabling capture of different aspects and products of the research lifecycle, including developing a research idea, designing a study, storing and analyzing collected data, and writing and publishing reports or papers. You can manage your project, easily add collaborators, quickly share files, archive your data, and view project analytics. 

Data Security

When collaborating with other researchers, please refer to UHN's policy on Research: Data Ownership, Stewardship, & Security of Health Information to make sure that you are adhering to UHN's policy and are keeping the data and health information secure. 

(If you are off-site, access organizational documents on the Intranet by logging in to Global Protect before clicking)

Articles on Collaboration

Blevins D, Farmer MS, Edlund C, Sullivan G, Kirchner JE. Collaborative research between clinicians and researchers: a multiple case study of implementation. Implementation Science. 2010;5(1):76.

Eikey EV, Reddy MC, Kuziemsky CE. Examining the role of collaboration in studies of health information technologies in biomedical informatics: A systematic review of 25 years of research. Journal of Biomedical Informatics. 2015;57:263–77.

Little MM, Hill CAS, Ware KB, Swanoski MT, Chapman SA, Lutfiyya MN, et al. Team science as interprofessional collaborative research practice: a systematic review of the science of team science literature. Journal of Investigative Medicine. 2016;65(1):15–22.

Nyström ME, Karltun J, Keller C, Gäre BA. Collaborative and partnership research for improvement of health and social services: researcher's experiences from 20 projects. Health Research Policy and Systems. 2018;16(1):46.

O’Sullivan PS, Stoddard HA, Kalishman S. Collaborative research in medical education: a discussion of theory and practice. Medical Education. 2010;44(12):1175–84.