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Defining Terms for Integrated (Multi-Inter-Trans-Disciplinary) Sustainability Research
Centre for the Study of Agriculture, Food and Environment and Department of Sociology, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Centre for Rural Research, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 May 2011; in revised form: 11 July 2011 / Accepted: 18 July 2011 / Published: 26 July 2011
Abstract: Our contemporary social and ecological problems, including climate change, peak oil and food security, necessitate solutions informed by multiple backgrounds that singular disciplines seem unable to provide, and possibly, are even incapable of providing. The increasing occurrence of multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary (MIT) research projects speak to the recognition of that necessity. But as the literature and our own experiences bear out, just calling a project “beyond disciplinary” or integrated does not necessarily yield the intended outcomes or make progress toward alleviating the hurdles of bridging disciplines. Here we examine the distinctions between three categories (multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary) of integrated research and offer reflections on how sustainability researchers can categorize their research to improve common understandings.
Keywords: transdisciplinary; sustainability; multidisciplinary; interdisciplinary; integrated research; research project; methods
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Stock, P.; Burton, R.J. Defining Terms for Integrated (Multi-Inter-Trans-Disciplinary) Sustainability Research. Sustainability 2011, 3, 1090-1113.
Stock P, Burton RJ. Defining Terms for Integrated (Multi-Inter-Trans-Disciplinary) Sustainability Research. Sustainability. 2011; 3(8):1090-1113.
Stock, Paul; Burton, Rob J.F. 2011. "Defining Terms for Integrated (Multi-Inter-Trans-Disciplinary) Sustainability Research." Sustainability 3, no. 8: 1090-1113.