Interdisciplinary research. Measurement and assessment indicators

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Interdisciplinary research. Measurement and assessment indicators


WP 06/13; In order to implement appropriate policies to face the difficulties and remove the obstacles that hinder interdisciplinary research, it is necessary to clarify how this ever broader and more dynamic portion of science works and which incentives best support the activities of scientists. Interdisciplinary studies are a peculiar aspect of the activities performed by researchers operating at the frontier of science, for instance in cutting-edge sectors. They might encompass fields of investigation that already exist, but they cannot be exclusively ascribed to any one of them. Abstract answers regarding the very unusual matters investigated by interdisciplinary research would make it extremely difficult to provide quantitative output measurements and evaluations. Yet, the shift from general abstract answers to specific empirical problems, which is the objective of most interdisciplinary research, turns out to be an advantage when assessing this type of research. Concentrating on problems and on approaching their solutions in objective quantitative terms can allow for output measurement and assessment also in the case of interdisciplinary research. This can be achieved by using precision and efficiency parameters able to provide public policies and entrepreneurial activities with content that is as clearly defined and as rigorous as that of specialist research


Mario De Marchi


CNR Ceris