Quality issues in cross-disciplinary research: Towards a two-pronged approach to evaluation

Social Epistemology 23 (2):165 – 176 (2009)
In recent decades there has been increasing demand for and considerable efforts to conduct cross-disciplinary research. However, assessment of research quality in such endeavours still is often based on mono-disciplinary criteria and not seldom carried out by reviewers without strong cross-disciplinary experience. The authors suggest a two-pronged approach to cross-disciplinary research evaluation. One part should comprise an individual review of all the disciplines involved based on their mono-disciplinary sets of criteria. The other part should be a separate evaluation of the cross-disciplinary aspects based on the review of “problem formulation”, “integration and scope of the disciplines”, “parts and the whole”, “practical managerial aspects” and “the applied aspects” . The pros and cons of implementing this approach in a stepwise manner or simultaneously is discussed. It is suggested that funding agencies develop more fair sets of review procedures for cross-disciplinary research and show willingness to allocate extra funds and time to such forms of research that sometimes are regarded as relatively more “risky” than conventional mono-disciplinary types
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DOI 10.1080/02691720902992323
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