Diversity is Crucial
Crucial to any research program studying influences of culture in development is diversity, not only among the values, practices, and cultural settings of participants, but also critically among research teams. No one scientist is an expert in every religious or cultural setting or every developmental process. We have incorporated various levels of collaboration into the Developing Belief Network (DBN), including beginning our inaugural research network with strategic collaborators who have existing multi-site research collaborations, working with adult experts in the communities that will be studied, and maintaining regular communication among all parties as data is collected.
Integrated Research Team
We utilize what the National Cancer Institute has called an integrated research team, with scientists collaboratively setting the research agenda, making decisions about methods and protocol, and ultimately sharing leadership responsibility and credit. Each researcher brings their expertise of researching within the context of their own field site, and works with local community members to ensure that the approach and method is valid across cultural settings.
This flowchart outlines the process for designing our first research project together:
To the extent possible, we will make our protocol (including all versions that have been translated and made locally/culturally-relevant) and our data open-access, allowing these materials to be resources for the scientific community for years to come.
Our approach to collaborative authorship is anchored by principles of Respect and Transparency, and in crafting them we have aimed to strike a balance between valuing our collective efforts at sustaining Collaboration and valuing the Autonomy of individual researchers.