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ERIC Number: EJ1065294
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8265
Geography and Geographical Information Science: Interdisciplinary Integrators
Ellul, Claire
Journal of Geography in Higher Education, v39 n2 p191-194 2015
To understand how Geography and Geographical Information Science (GIS) can contribute to Interdisciplinary Research (IDR), it is relevant to articulate the differences between the different types of such research. "Multidisciplinary" researchers work in a "parallel play" mode, completing work in their disciplinary work streams and exchanging outputs as and when needed. This will ultimately result in separate publications by participants from each discipline and fosters a loose continued connection between researchers (Aboelela et al., 2007). "Interdisciplinary" research is described in language from all disciplines involved. Data and analytical methods are also more mixed, requiring researchers from one discipline to learn, at least in part, about methodologies from the others in order to complete their work. Publications are shared and language will be established that is intelligible to all involved fields (Aboelela et al., 2007). Examining the above, Geography and GIS fit very well into the multidisciplinary context. They can contribute tools, methods and techniques to problems, while permitting researchers to work within their own discipline. The potential of Geography and GIS for interdisciplinary research can also offer a useful approach to address the interdisciplinary challenge of finding a common language between two or more other disciplines, permitting integration of data and analytical methods. This article briefly introduces the papers presented at a symposium session held at the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute for British Geographers) 2012 Annual Conference in Edinburgh, entitled "Geography in Interdisciplinary Research: Threat or Opportunity?" Submissions were invited that focused on the importance of Geography and GIS in interdisciplinary research, both as a separate discipline contributing methods, tools and techniques and also as an integrator and unifying factor, with the potential of providing a common starting point to overcome the challenges of bringing interdisciplinary teams together. The article concludes that the papers in this symposium highlight a number of factors that cause difficulties with interdisciplinary research, requiring effort from all parties to overcome. The ability of a team to move beyond the multi-disciplinary and into the interdisciplinary context depends to a great extent on the interest of team members in research, methods and data from other disciplines.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A