Vignola-Gagné, E., Pinheiro, H., Rivest, M., and Campbell, D. (2021). Measuring funding programs achievements in fostering cross-disciplinarity research: The potential role of integration and collaboration indicators in capturing distinct support mechanisms. In the Proceedings of the 18th International Conference of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI) (pp. 1217–1228).
The 18th International Conference of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics, Leuven, Belgium (virtual event), 12–15 July 2021.
Presented by Etienne Vignola-Gagné
Twenty funding programs from many countries were selected for they cover, or not, a range of support mechanisms fueling, to varying degrees, cross-disciplinarity (XDR). Their publication outputs were then used to test the usefulness of quantitative indicators to capture their anticipated degree of XDR. This assumes that the programs have been sufficiently successful to produce XDR outputs to a degree that matches the qualitative assessment. Publication sets were delineated through grant databases or funding acknowledgements. The quantitative assessment relied on the use of two indicators of disciplinary diversity, 1) the Rao-Stirling index applied to references to measure intellectual integration (interdisciplinarity); and 2), a novel variation on the Rao-Stirling index applied to authorships (multidisciplinary collaboration). The quantitative results highlighted the current emphasis placed on multidisciplinary collaboration in the funding landscape for XDR, as programs producing XDR papers were scoring high either on multidisciplinary collaboration alone or on both dimensions, but never on interdisciplinarity alone. The XDR indicators were rarely above expectations for non-XDR programs, whereas they were mostly above, to varying degrees, for XDR programs. The results also showed that the XDR programs were either more or less successful than anticipated, or highlighted the challenge of making precise qualitative characterizations.
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