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AnIntegratedModeloftheInterdisciplinaryResearchProcess

A:Drawingondisciplinaryinsights: - Definetheproblemorstatethefocusquestion - Justifyusinganinterdisciplinaryapproach - Identifyrelevantdisciplines - Conductaliteraturesearch - Developadequacyineachrelevantdiscipline - Analyzetheproblemandevaluateeachinsightintoit B:Integratinginsightsandproducinganinterdisciplinaryunderstanding: - Identifyconflictsbetweeninsightsandtheirsources - Createordiscovercommonground - Integrateinsights - Produceaninterdisciplinaryunderstandingoftheproblemandtestit - Whatcautionsshouldonebemindfulofwhenusingthesesteps:First, dividingwhatisessentiallyafluidprocessintodiscretestepsgivesthe misleadingbutunavoidableimpressionthatthesestepsdonotoverlap. Theyoftendo.Second,numberingthestepsimpliesaunidirectional sequence,butthisisnotthetruenatureoftheinterdisciplinaryresearch process.Itismuchmorelikeafeedbackloopthanaladder.Feedback loopiscorrectiveinformationaboutadecision,operation,event,or problemthatcompelstheresearchertorevisitanearlierphaseofthe project.Thiscorrectiveinformationtypicallycomesfrompreviously overlookedscholarshiporotherknowledgeformations.Third,thereis thetemptationtoavoiddifficultstepsandleapaheadtolatersteps. Fourth,describingtheprocessintermsofstepsmaygivetheimpression thateachrelevantdisciplineisminedseparatelyfornuggetsofinsights beforeanyintegrationtakesplace,andthatwhenintegrationoccurs,it happensallatonce.Partialintegrationdoesoccurthroughoutthe process.

Source:AllenRepko.InterdisciplinaryResearch.NewYork:SagePublications,2008,pp.142143.