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

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Centre for the Study of Agriculture, Food and Environment and Department of Sociology, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
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Centre for Rural Research, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2011, 3(8), 1090-1113; https://doi.org/10.3390/su3081090
Received: 19 May 2011 / Revised: 11 July 2011 / Accepted: 18 July 2011 / Published: 26 July 2011
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: transdisciplinary; sustainability; multidisciplinary; interdisciplinary; integrated research; research project; methods transdisciplinary; sustainability; multidisciplinary; interdisciplinary; integrated research; research project; methods
MDPI and ACS Style

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

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