The challenges of cross-disciplinary research

Social Epistemology 21 (4):425 – 438 (2007)
During the past decades, research collaboration between researchers from different disciplines has become more frequent. However, there is a need to look into the generic modalities and challenges. The article explores a series of potential obstructions to cross-disciplinary collaboration of methodological and epistemological nature. Furthermore, a number of contextual, inhibiting factors are outlined. As means of overcoming the obstacles, the importance of mutual knowledge, allocation of adequate time and conducive research management is emphasised. New teams may benefit from tutoring by facilitators, who can help to make problem areas explicit and negotiate solutions. Owing to the training background of the author, most of the examples are drawn from the interface between biomedicine/natural science and applied medical anthropology. However, the issues raised basically apply to all sorts of cross-disciplinary research collaboration in various combinations
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