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Title: Explicit knowledge structures as a tool for overcoming obstacles to interdisciplinary research
Contributor(s): Boulton, AJ (author); Panizzon, DL (author); Prior, JC (author)
Publication Date: 2005
DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2005.00314.x
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Abstract: Increasingly, interdisciplinary research is acknowledged as essential for resolving problems in conservation (Deem et al. 2001; Stem et al. 2005) and natural resource management (Daily & Ehrlich 1999). Numerous obstacles, however, beset interdisciplinary approaches. Based on her experiences in conservation of sea turtles, Campbell (2005) identifies several of these, including a need to developpublishing protocols, clarify problem definition, integrate assumed objectives, and consider power relations. She suggests that in many conservation research programs, social scientists seem to be "tacked on" to meet funding requirements and typically are invited to join the team after the initial planning stages, severely restricting theiropportunity to contribute to the development of the research program. This, in turn, has implications for the power relations if social scientists are outnumbered by natural science researchers on a team, and she relates that it "is sometimes exhausting to be the one person speaking a different language or trying to represent a broad suite of social-science concerns" (Campbell 2005:576). Her paper concludes by urging researchers to share their experiences with this type of research to provide more knowledge on which potential interdisciplinary researchers might draw. In our interdisciplinary research in ecology, resource management, and education, we also have encountered examples of the obstacles described by Campbell (2005). We agree with many of her recommendations for overcoming these; but rather than tackling these piecemeal, we see a need for a synthetic framework for conducting interdisciplinary research in conservation biology and other research sciences. Our goal here is to introduce and advocate use of an explicit "knowledge structure" to overcomemany of these obstacles.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Conservation Biology, 19(6), p. 2026-2029
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing, Inc
Place of Publication: USA
ISSN: 0888-8892
Field of Research (FOR): 050207 Environmental Rehabilitation (excl Bioremediation)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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