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Journal Article:

Author(s) :


Jeffrey, P.

Date of Publication :



Article Title :


Smoothing the waters: Observations on the process of cross-disciplinary research collaboration

Journal Title :


Social Studies of Science

Volume ID :



Pages(s) :



Abstract :


Although both research funders and knowledge users continue to call for more and higher-quality collaboration between researchers from different disciplines, there is little evidence available to inform the structure and management of cross-disciplinary research teams. A descriptive account of cross-disciplinary collaboration is presented based on a study of a cross-disciplinary team researching natural resource degradation issues. A number of tools are identified that characterize and support the collaboration process, including the use of story-lines and metaphor, choice of vocabulary, the nature of dialogue and the role of mediating agents. Four products of collaboration are also identified: ëprocessí, ëunderstandingí, ëutilityí and ëknowledge integrationí. Conclusions focus on the implications for research programme design and the content of research training curricula.

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