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Analyzing interdisciplinarity: Typology and indicators


  • Huutoniemi, Katri
  • Klein, Julie Thompson
  • Bruun, Henrik
  • Hukkinen, Janne


Both funding agencies and scholars in science studies have become increasingly concerned with how to define and identify interdisciplinarity in research. The task is tricky, since the complexity of interdisciplinary research defies a single definition. Our study tackles this challenge by demonstrating a new typology and qualitative indicators for analyzing interdisciplinarity in research documents. The proposed conceptual framework attempts to fulfill the need for a robust and nuanced approach that is grounded in deeper knowledge of interdisciplinarity. As an example of using the framework, we discuss our empirical investigation of research proposals funded by a national funding agency in Finland.

Suggested Citation

  • Huutoniemi, Katri & Klein, Julie Thompson & Bruun, Henrik & Hukkinen, Janne, 2010. "Analyzing interdisciplinarity: Typology and indicators," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 79-88, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:39:y:2010:i:1:p:79-88

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alan L Porter & J David Roessner & Alex S Cohen & Marty Perreault, 2006. "Interdisciplinary research: meaning, metrics and nurture," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 187-195, December.
    2. Julie Thompson Klein, 2006. "Afterword: the emergent literature on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research evaluation," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 75-80, April.
    3. Luis Sanz-Menéndez & María Bordons & M Angeles Zulueta, 2001. "Interdisciplinarity as a multidimensional concept: its measure in three different research areas," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 47-58, April.
    4. Rossini, Frederick A. & Porter, Alan L., 1979. "Frameworks for integrating interdisciplinary research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 70-79, January.
    5. Martin Lengwiler, 2006. "Between charisma and heuristics: four styles of interdisciplinarity," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(6), pages 423-434, July.
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