Yours, mine, and ours: the importance of scientific collaboration in advancing the field of behavior change research.
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The Behavior Change Consortium (BCC) has provided a unique opportunity to combine and explore resources, data, processes, and knowledge as a means of strengthening the validity, reliability, and outcomes that compose the field of behavioral science. The workgroups of the BCC were able to transcend disciplinary boundaries by developing a collaborative framework that fused scholarship and creativity to explore research problems in the area of health behavior change theory and intervention. We have identified seven common elements that emerged from each workgroup and fostered inclusion, progress, and ultimately results. These elements were (a) establishing communication channels, (b) identifying objectives, (c) utilizing common measures, (d) obtaining financial support, (e) seeking outside feedback, (f) engaging "big picture" thinking, and (g) bridging theory to practice. In this article we describe the various processes involved in the creation and sustainability of the BCC, including internal and external communications, leadership, workgroup roles, private and public partnerships, and issues associated with data sharing. We also discuss why, in the case of the BCC, the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. We present this example of unparalleled multibehavioral research collaboration as a model to other collaborative efforts that will be spawned by the new National Institutes of Health Roadmap initiative.
author list (cited authors)
Jordan, P. J., Ory, M. G., & Goldman Sher, T.
complete list of authors
Jordan, Patricia J||Ory, Marcia G||Goldman Sher, Tamara