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Interdisciplinary research: measurement and assessment indicators

In order to implement appropriate policies to face the difficulties and remove the obstacles that hinder interdisciplinary research, it is necessary to clarify how this ever broader and more dynamic portion of science works and which incentives best support the activities of scientists. Interdisciplinary studies are a peculiar aspect of the activities performed by researchers operating at the frontier of science, for instance in cutting-edge sectors. They might encompass fields of investigation that already exist, but they cannot be exclusively ascribed to any one of them. Abstract answers regarding the very unusual matters investigated by interdisciplinary research would make it extremely difficult to provide quantitative output measurements and evaluations. Yet, the shift from general abstract answers to specific empirical problems, which is the objective of most interdisciplinary research, turns out to be an advantage when assessing this type of research. Concentrating on problems and on approaching their solutions in objective quantitative terms can allow for output measurement and assessment also in the case of interdisciplinary research. This can be achieved by using precision and efficiency parameters able to provide public policies and entrepreneurial activities with content that is as clearly defined and as rigorous as that of specialist research.

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Paper provided by Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO) in its series CERIS Working Paper with number 201306.

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Length: 17 pages Keywords : Scientific research; Research evaluation; Research policy
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:csc:cerisp:201306
Contact details of provider: Postal: Via Real Collegio, 30 10024 - Moncalieri TO
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  1. Irwin Feller, 2006. "Multiple actors, multiple settings, multiple criteria: issues in assessing interdisciplinary research," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 5-15, April.
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