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Factors associated with disciplinary and interdisciplinary research collaboration

  • van Rijnsoever, Frank J.
  • Hessels, Laurens K.
Registered author(s):

    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.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V77-51N0SDC-1/2/3d48c145af4811a886398e6997592a1a
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

    Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (April)
    Pages: 463-472

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:3:p:463-472
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

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    1. Nicolas Carayol & Thuc Uyen Nguyen Thi, 2005. "Why do academic scientists engage in interdisciplinary research?," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 70-79, April.
    2. Etzkowitz, Henry & Webster, Andrew & Gebhardt, Christiane & Terra, Branca Regina Cantisano, 2000. "The future of the university and the university of the future: evolution of ivory tower to entrepreneurial paradigm," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 313-330, February.
    3. Frank J. van Rijnsoever & Laurens K. Hessels & Rens L.J. Vandeberg, 2008. "A resource-based view on the interactions of university researchers," Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series 08-14, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies, revised Apr 2008.
    4. Katz, J. Sylvan & Martin, Ben R., 1997. "What is research collaboration?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, March.
    5. Schmickl, Christina & Kieser, Alfred, 2008. "How much do specialists have to learn from each other when they jointly develop radical product innovations?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6-7), pages 1148-1163, July.
    6. Rhoten, Diana & Pfirman, Stephanie, 2007. "Women in interdisciplinary science: Exploring preferences and consequences," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 56-75, February.
    7. van Rijnsoever, Frank J. & Hessels, Laurens K. & Vandeberg, Rens L.J., 2008. "A resource-based view on the interactions of university researchers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1255-1266, September.
    8. Bart Nooteboom, 2000. "Learning by Interaction: Absorptive Capacity, Cognitive Distance and Governance," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 69-92, March.
    9. Stig Slipers�ter & Jean Th�ves & Barend van der Meulen, 2007. "Comparing the evolution of national research policies: What patterns of change?," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(6), pages 372-388, July.
    10. Grit Laudel, 2002. "What do we measure by co-authorships?," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 3-15, April.
    11. Midgley, David F & Dowling, Grahame R, 1978. " Innovativeness: The Concept and Its Measurement," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(4), pages 229-42, March.
    12. John M. McDowell & Larry D. Singell & Mark Stater, 2006. "Two to Tango? Gender Differences in the Decisions to Publish and Coauthor," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 153-168, January.
    13. Hessels, Laurens K. & van Lente, Harro, 2008. "Re-thinking new knowledge production: A literature review and a research agenda," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 740-760, May.
    14. 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.
    15. Schmickl, Christina & Kieser, Alfred, 2008. "How much do specialists have to learn from each other when they jointly develop radical product innovations?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 473-491, April.
    16. Bianca Pot� & Emanuela Reale, 2007. "Changing allocation models for public research funding: An empirical exploration based on project funding data," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(6), pages 417-430, July.
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