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Factors associated with disciplinary and interdisciplinary research collaboration

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  • van Rijnsoever, Frank J.
  • Hessels, Laurens K.

Abstract

There is a lack of understanding regarding the optimal conditions for interdisciplinary research. This study investigates what characteristics of researchers are associated with disciplinary and interdisciplinary research collaborations and what collaborations are most rewarding in different scientific disciplines. Our results confirm that female scientists are more engaged in interdisciplinary research collaborations. Further, a scientist's years of research experience are positively related with both types of collaboration. Work experience in firms or governmental organizations increases the propensity of interdisciplinary collaborations, but decreases that of disciplinary collaborations. Disciplinary collaborations occur more frequent in basic disciplines; interdisciplinary collaborations more in strategic disciplines. We also found that in both types of disciplines, disciplinary collaborations contribute more to career development than interdisciplinary collaborations. We conclude with three recommendations for science and innovation policy, while emphasising the need to distinguish between different scientific disciplines.

Suggested Citation

  • van Rijnsoever, Frank J. & Hessels, Laurens K., 2011. "Factors associated with disciplinary and interdisciplinary research collaboration," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 463-472, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:3:p:463-472
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    References listed on IDEAS

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