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Sustainability 2011, 3(8), 1090-1113; doi:10.3390/su3081090
Review

Defining Terms for Integrated (Multi-Inter-Trans-Disciplinary) Sustainability Research

1,*  and 2
Received: 19 May 2011 / Revised: 11 July 2011 / Accepted: 18 July 2011 / Published: 26 July 2011
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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 transdisciplinary; sustainability; multidisciplinary; interdisciplinary; integrated research; research project; methods
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Stock, P.; Burton, R.J. Defining Terms for Integrated (Multi-Inter-Trans-Disciplinary) Sustainability Research. Sustainability 2011, 3, 1090-1113.

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