Ten simple rules to ruin a collaborative environment

Lawrence-Dill, Carolyn J.
Buckler IV, Edward S.
Dekkers, Jack
Dorius, Cassandra J.
Dorius, Shawn
Hu, Guiping
Reecy, James
Schnable, Patrick S.
Scott, Nicole M.
Tuggle, Christopher K.
Voas, Rachael
et al.
Major Professor
Committee Member
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Organizational Unit
Animal Science
Organizational Unit
Organizational Unit
Journal Issue
AgronomyGenetics, Development and Cell BiologyAnimal ScienceHuman Development and Family StudiesSociologyIndustrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering
Trigger warning: Here, you will find a bit of satire, written from the not-so-funny, real experiences of the authors who have been involved in “team science” collaboratives. The material presented below covers topics that readers may find offensive or even traumatizing. We present a breakdown (pun intended) of how to ruin a functioning collaboration, rather than how to build one. The ideas contained in this work were developed during two virtual meetings of members of the Agricultural Genome to Phenome Initiative (AG2PI; www.ag2pi.org) community and leadership team in May and June of 2021. In these sessions, we looked back at collaborative projects that were miserable failures and recalled what went wrong so we could avoid making the same mistakes in the future. We also considered what signals we might have missed that could have saved us some misery and where we might have had some blind spots (but should have seen coming). As a side note, having worked on dysfunctional teams from time to time, we found writing this set of rules to be both cathartic and vastly cheaper than therapy. If you are not prepared for what will likely be the occasional, “Yikes, that sounds terribly familiar!” or would rather read some more upbeat advice, here are a few options we recommend: Vicens and Bourne [1], de Grijs [2], Knapp and colleagues [3], Cechova [4], Sahneh and colleagues [5], and Gewin [6].
This article is published as Lawrence-Dill CJ, Allscheid RL, Boaitey A, Bauman T, Buckler ES IV, Clarke JL, et al. (2022) Ten simple rules to ruin a collaborative environment. PLoS Comput Biol 18(4): e1009957. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1009957. Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.