The days that scientists could work alone in an isolated laboratory inventing new strategies and developing novel therapies are long gone. Modern science needs collaboration, networking. And not only modern science; in fact, even long before our current facebook and internet era, medical scientists worked close together by discussing hypotheses and shared information. Paradoxically, despite all the immense opportunities of collaboration thanks to all modern communication possibilities, sharing data and collaborating has not necessarily become easier. Instead, there are even developments that obstruct collaboration seriously, such as the pressure to ‘publish or perish’, preferably with authors of a one’s own institute on the magical spots of first or last author. These and other developments (including pressure from granting agencies, national regulations and other legal & ethical requirements have hampered collaboration and form a serious obstacle in further progress. To change this, one needs a paradigm shift; the focus should be on what we want to achieve for the development of biomedical science in the field of arthritis, and less focus on the individual contributions of each group. In other words: it will be better to have a small part of a big pie, instead of a tiny pie just for yourself. Luckily, a number of new initiatives have sprouted in the field of childhood arthritis to achieve exactly this. These new initiatives, such as UCAN (http://ucanetwork.com), UCAN-U (www.ucan-u.org), SHARE, Pharmachild and the EU Marie Curie program EUTRAIN (www.eutrain-network.eu) offer new and excellent possibilities for networking open for everyone who wants to contribute.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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