From enthusiasm to pragmatism: Shifting perspectives of success in interdisciplinary research

Cecilia Hidalgo, Claudia E. Naten zon, Guillermo Podestá

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

To formulate assessment criteria for interdisciplinary research (IDR) taking into account its specificity and cross-cutting nature on its own terms is a key and difficult issue. This paper reports results from a case study of an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional, multi-national research team convened to address a highly complex problem with societal relevance: to understand and model adaptive management of agricultural ecosystems in the Pampas of central-eastern Argentina in response to climate variability and other sources of risk and uncertainty. The analysis focuses on the shifting perspectives and metrics of "success" held by participants at three specific stages of the collaboration process: the project start, an intermediate stage (about two years into a three-year project) and the end. The case highlights a dynamics of knowledge production where an initial moderate level of understanding and accommodation of alternative standpoints may not be seen as sufficient in subsequent phases of interaction when criteria based on integrative standards are expected to emerge. Along IDR interaction obstacles and constraints reappear recurrently in subtle ways, making active participants gain a rising consciousness of the existence of new reachable aims and consequently, of novel shades of possible misunderstandings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-120
Number of pages8
JournalInterciencia
Volume36
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

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Keywords

  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Interdisciplinary Research
  • Multinational Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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