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Interdisciplinary research: meaning, metrics and nurture


Recognizing prior research and reflection, we offer a definition of interdisciplinary research (IDR) that focuses on integration of concepts, techniques and/or data. We note that this need not entail teaming. Building upon this definition, we discuss its implications for accurate meas- urement. We then synthesize contextual and process factors expected to foster knowledge in- tegration. These suggest a rich set of research questions concerning the implications for suc- cessful IDR of actions by universities, funding organizations, professional associations, and the science media, including journal editors. We seek to engage social scientists who study re- search practices, organizations, and policy in consideration of interdisciplinary research pro- cesses and their evaluation.