The role of collaboration in medical research and how it applies to emergency medicine research are discussed. The guidance of the Division of Health Sciences Policy of the Institute of Medicine is reviewed. Application of the principles of collaborative efforts and recognition of each individual's contribution are overviewed. Emergency physicians can and should be invaluable contributors to collaborative research. Collaborative research relationships, whether established at individual institutions or through national clinical trials, must be developed deliberately. The specialty of emergency medicine must make the necessary commitment of time and resources to ensure that these occur.