Publication
Title
Facilitating interdisciplinarity : the contributions of boundary-crossing activities among disciplines
Author
Abstract
It is generally acknowledged that researchers who cross the boundary of disciplines are more likely to produce novel outputs. The knowledge exchanges contributed by boundary crossing provide a good explanation for the underlying mechanism. However, previous studies provide limited empirical evidence on whether and how these contributions are made. This paper analyzes how boundary crossing researchers originated from physics induce interdisciplinary knowledge flows. We find that applied sciences are the most common target domain for boundary crossing activities originating from physics. The normalized citation network shows that boundary crossing contributes to more knowledge exchanges between physics and the target fields than the average level. Beyond the original and target fields, boundary crossing activities also demonstrate spillover effects, causing additional knowledge flows among a wider range of fields beyond physics. Based on the induced knowledge exchanges, we define distinct roles that boundary crossing outputs play in this process, namely settlers, disseminators, transcenders, and maintainers, and reveal that they have distinct performances on interdisciplinarity. Given the contribution boundary crossing activities have made in fostering interdisciplinary research and knowledge flows, we encourage the funding bodies to break the limitation of disciplinary barriers and establish more grant schemes to support productive and meaningful interactions across different fields.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Scientometrics: an international journal for all quantitative aspects of the science of science and science policy. - Amsterdam
Publication
Amsterdam : 2024
ISSN
0138-9130 [print]
1588-2861 [online]
DOI
10.1007/S11192-023-04924-X
Volume/pages
(2024) , p. 1-19
ISI
001137179400001
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
The author-created version that incorporates referee comments and is the accepted for publication version Available from 07.01.2025
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
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Research group
Publication type
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Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
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Creation 08.01.2024
Last edited 01.02.2024
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