27 January 2015 10 Comments
At some time in everyone’s academic lives, there will be cause for collaboration angst.
It may all start golden: big ideas, excitement about working with new colleagues, the potential for fancy-pants funding and intellectual glory.
And if you were invited onto a prestigious team by a favoured prof…well, you’d almost fall over signing up, right?
Then, down the track, you’re looking at the fifth ‘I still haven’t done it’ email from Collaborator 2, or – worse still – finding no email from Collaborator 3…ever.
How many times is it physiologically safe to roll one’s eyes at Collaborator 4 for declaring yet again that they should be first author?
I’ve written before about how to find research friends and make co-writing work, which have focused for the most part on the positive habits and traits that lead to successful, satisfying collaborations.
This post focuses on the flipside.
Finding out that your co-writer or co-investigator is awful to work with could be a gradual soul-destroying process, or a very rapid soul-destroying process. Either way? Soul destroyed.
Added to the mix are complicated intersections of status, power and privilege, and often emotional baggage from professional (or deeper) friendships. The earlier you can see that the collaboration isn’t going to work, the easier it may be to duck out of the project, or at least implement processes that will mean you emerge with your sanity and sense of self intact.
Here are 5 signs that you may have a toxic collaborator: READ MORE