Drawing on their work on a major international and interdisciplinary research project, Alla Konnikov, Irina Rets and Karen D Hughes provide four lessons for researchers undertaking similar projects to reflect on. Interdisciplinarity is vital to address…
Book Review: Dear Science and Other Stories by Katherine McKittrick
In Dear Science and Other Stories, Katherine McKittrick positions Black storytelling ‘as a way to hold on to the rebellious methodological work of sharing ideas in an unkind world’. Exploring how Black creatives have always used such interdisciplinary …
Pushing research to the limit – Who innovates in social science research?
Innovation in any field of research often runs the risk of being poorly judged and misunderstood by researchers beholden to more conventional methods. What then allows researchers to undertake research that could leave them ostracised from their disciplinary communities? In this post, Sharon Koppman and Erin Leahey highlight how the development of interdisciplinary identities, association with key organisations, and the […]
“Interdisciplinary, like everyone else.” But are you being interdisciplinary for the wrong reasons?
Interdisciplinarity is the talk of the town. Funding agencies favour interdisciplinary research proposals, teaching programmes focus on developing interdisciplinary courses, and the publication of interdisciplinary studies has surged over recent decades. Lakshmi Balachandran Nair considers whether interdisciplinarity remains a strategy to surpass the limits of the methodological tools, theories, and views offered by a single discipline or has instead become […]
Can we have it all? Navigating trade-offs between research excellence, development impact, and collaborative research processes
The “gold standard” of impactful international development research involves equitable north-south partnership, interdisciplinary collaboration, and co-production with non-academic actors, ideally including local communities. Such participatory and collaborative approaches are intended to have longer-term benefits, strengthening capacity for research, innovation, and knowledge exchange. Admirable though this may sound, it’s easy to see how it might appear overwhelming to researchers expected to […]
What can interdisciplinary collaborations learn from the science of team science?
Teamwork makes the dream work, and for interdisciplinary collaborations there are many lessons to be learned from the science of team science. Suzi Spitzer shares ten such lessons here: start by assembling participants with a variety of social skills, such as negotiation and social perceptiveness; avoid jargon and make sure shared words have shared meaning; and accept that conflict, while […]
Recognising interdisciplinary expertise: is it time we established the integration and implementation sciences?
Embedding interdisciplinarity into the academic mainstream has proved a constant challenge. Gabriele Bammer asks whether it might help to define the relevant expertise as a new discipline, one that recognises important skills such as the ability to combine knowledge from different disciplines, determine which disciplines and stakeholders have valuable perspectives, examine how elements of problems are interconnected, assess the likely […]
Why we should not ignore interdisciplinarity’s critics
Amidst the push from universities and funding agencies for increased interdisciplinary research, interdisciplinarity has also been the subject of a number of critiques in recent years. Rick Szostak believes many such critiques to be misguided and focused on research that is at best multidisciplinary and at worst produces no useful results; work that should not be taken as representative of […]
Interdisciplinary research may lead to increased visibility but also depresses scholarly productivity
Interdisciplinarity has grown in recent years. But how does interdisciplinary research influence scholarship and scholarly careers? Erin Leahey‘s research has found that while interdisciplinary research has its benefits, such as increased visibility as indicated by citations, it also comes at a cost, as it depresses scholarly productivity. Although peer review of interdisciplinary work is less of a problem than anticipated, […]