Submitted to: Inside Laboratory Management
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/23/2011
Publication Date: 6/13/2011
Citation: Lehotay, S.J. 2011. Partners in research exceed the sum of the parts: partners > parts. Inside Laboratory Management. 15(3):11. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The overriding goal of analytical chemistry research has always been and will always be the same: develop and validate approaches to achieve the needed quality of results that fit the purpose of the analysis in the fastest, easiest, safest, most economical, robust, and environmentally-friendly way that technology allows. Similarly, the research process to achieve the desired analytical goals should also be as highly effective and efficient as possible. Forming a good partnership is often an excellent way to improve the quality of the research, its outcome and impact, and gain personal satisfaction in the process. Truly, partners in research are often exceed the sum of their parts (“partners > parts”). Members of many organizations often hear the catch-phrases of generating synergy, leveraging resources, and forming multi-disciplinary collaborations to enhance the research mission, but independent of the words used, the concepts are much the same and the end results always depend on the people actually doing the work. Research partners must have at least the essential resources and organizational culture to succeed, but they are ultimately responsible for getting the job done as a team. Ideally, the sum of partners entails multiplication, not addition or even subtraction as in some unfortunate cases. The formation of partnerships is highly pertinent to AOAC International as a volunteer organization which relies on participation and collaborations among scientists. Just as partners must each do their parts to make partnerships work most effectively, the people within an organization as a whole must feel comfortable with its direction and satisfied with their role as an individual to step forward for the organization itself to be more than the sum of its parts.