The rise and fall of interdisciplinary research: The case of open source innovation
A large, and purportedly increasing, number of research fields in modern science require scholars from more than one discipline to understand their puzzling phenomena. In response, many scholars argue that scientific work needs to become more interdisciplinary, and is indeed becoming so. This paper contributes to our understanding of the evolution of interdisciplinary research in new fields. We explore interdisciplinary co-authorship, co-citation and publication patterns in the recently emergent research field of open source innovation during the first ten years of its existence. Utilizing a database containing 306 core publications and over 10,000 associated reference documents, we find that inquiry shifts from interdisciplinary to multidisciplinary research, and from joint puzzle solving to parallel problem solving, within a very few years after the inception of the field. “High-involvement” forms of interdisciplinary exchange decline faster than “low-involvement” forms. The patterns we find in open source research, we argue, may be quite general. We propose that they are driven by changes in task uncertainty and the ability to modularize research, among other factors. Our findings have important implications for individual scholars, research organizations, and research policy.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Fagerberg, Jan & Verspagen, Bart, 2009.
"Innovation studies--The emerging structure of a new scientific field,"
Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 218-233, March.
- Jan Fagerberg & Bart Verspagen, 2009. "Innovation Studies – the emerging structure of a new scientific field," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20090104, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
- 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.
- Dalle, Jean Michel & David, Paul A. & Besten, Matthijs den & Steinmueller, W. Edward, 2008. "Empirical issues in open source software," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 301-304, December.
- Bonaccorsi, Andrea & Vargas, Juan, 2010. "Proliferation dynamics in new sciences," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1034-1050, October.
- 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.
- Allen, Robert C., 1983. "Collective invention," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, March.
- Georg von Krogh & Eric von Hippel, 2006. "The Promise of Research on Open Source Software," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 975-983, July.
- Rik Pieters & Hans Baumgartner, 2002. "Who Talks to Whom? Intra- and Interdisciplinary Communication of Economics Journals," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 483-509, June.
- Matthias Meyer & Iris Lorscheid & Klaus G. Troitzsch, 2009. "The Development of Social Simulation as Reflected in the First Ten Years of JASSS: a Citation and Co-Citation Analysis," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 12(4), pages 1-12.
- Fagerberg, Jan & Landström, Hans & Martin, Ben R., 2012. "Exploring the emerging knowledge base of ‘the knowledge society’," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1121-1131.
- Isabelle Huault & V. Perret & S. Charreire-Petit, 2007. "Management," Post-Print halshs-00337676, HAL.
- Hoffman, Donna L & Holbrook, Morris B, 1993. " The Intellectual Structure of Consumer Research: A Bibliometric Study of Author Cocitations in the First 15 Years of the Journal of Consumer Research," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 505-517, March.
- Stefano Comino & Fabio M. Manenti, 2003. "Open Source vs Closed Source Software: Public Policies in the Software Market," Industrial Organization 0306001, EconWPA.
- Philip H. Birnbaum, 1981. "Contingencies for Interdisciplinary Research: Matching Research Questions with Research Organizations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(11), pages 1279-1293, November.
- Osterloh, Margit & Rota, Sandra, 2007. "Open source software development--Just another case of collective invention?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 157-171, March.
- Franke, Nikolaus & Shah, Sonali, 2003. "How communities support innovative activities: an exploration of assistance and sharing among end-users," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 157-178, January.
- Eom, Sean, 2008. "All author cocitation analysis and first author cocitation analysis: A comparative empirical investigation," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 53-64.
- von Krogh, Georg & von Hippel, Eric, 2003. "Special issue on open source software development," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1149-1157, July.
- Carliss Y. Baldwin, 2008. "Where do transactions come from? Modularity, transactions, and the boundaries of firms," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 155-195, February.
- Thed van Leeuwen & Robert Tijssen, 2000. "Interdisciplinary dynamics of modern science: analysis of cross-disciplinary citation flows," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(3), pages 183-187, December.
- Andrea Bonaccorsi & Silvia Giannangeli & Cristina Rossi, 2006. "Entry Strategies Under Competing Standards: Hybrid Business Models in the Open Source Software Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1085-1098, July.
- Paul M. Romer, 1994. "The Origins of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 3-22, Winter. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)