Resulting from the development of science and technology, scientific research dedicating to solve economic, social, environmental, and other related complex problems needs team work of research groups with different academic backgrounds. Motivated by this requirement, some established organizations and sponsored projects with the purpose of promoting multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary research have been increasing, the organizations such as SFI (The Santa Fe Institute), IIASA (The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis), SIS (Society for Interdisciplinary Studies), AIS (The Association for Integrative Studies), ISIS (Institute for Science and Interdisciplinary Studies), and so forth. Some of these attempts achieved the desirable goals, while the majority did not.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Social Network Analysis: The mapping and measuring of relationships and flows between people, groups, organizations, animals, computers, or other information/knowledge processing entities.
Boundary Spanners: Some people who connect a department with other departments in the organizations or within similar networks in other organizations.
Central Connectors: Some people who have a disproportionate number of direct relations in the network and might be either unrecognized resources or bottlenecks.
Information Brokers: Some people who communicate across subgroups of a social network so that the group as a whole won’t splinter into smaller, less-effective segments.
Peripheral Specialists: Some people who have few links with or isolate from the network, and might either need help getting better connected or need space to operate on the fringes.
Scientific Collaboration: The academic-related interaction when the scholars are carrying on scientific research, for instance, co-authoring papers, attending conferences, citing literatures, e-mail contact, or other informal academic communications, and so forth.
Components: Maximal connected subgraphs in a network.
Social Network: A set of people or groups of people with some pattern of contacts or interactions between them.
Multidisciplinarity: There are varying degrees of interdisciplinarity. In multidisciplinarity, researchers from two or more disciplines work together on a common problem, but without altering their disciplinary approaches or developing a common conceptual framework.
Interdisciplinarity: A type of academic collaboration in which specialists drawn from two or more academic disciplines work together in pursuit of common goals.