Cross–disciplinary Research

From P2P Foundation
Jump to navigation Jump to search


"In multi–disciplinary research academic specialists work side by side on the belief that specialty ideas will cross–fertilize, but increased specialization reduces this likelihood. In contrast cross–disciplinary research uses faculty trained in more than one discipline to merge knowledge across specialties. Cross–disciplinary teams have both cross–trained generalists and discipline specialists." (


Brian Whitworth and Rob Friedman, the nexus of technology use:

"We identify cross–disciplinary research at the nexus of technology use as an area of knowledge expansion. Terms like Web science (Fischetti, 2006), socio–technical systems (Whitworth and Moor, 2009c), information communication technology (ICT), information systems, social computing, information science, informatics and Science 2.0 (Shneiderman, 2008) all point to a nascent “knowledge flower” growing at the crossroads of technology use (Figure 1).

If knowledge grows at the intersection of disciplines then it should grow at the point of technology use, as many disciplines intersect there. A decade ago one might have picked IS for this new cross–disciplinary field, but a business sub–discipline is unlikely to capture the middle ground of many disciplines. While how this knowledge crossroads will evolve is uncertain, that it will expand is not in doubt. To capture this expanding knowledge middle ground requires a meta–discipline that cuts across other disciplines.

To grow cross–disciplinary people academia needs cross–disciplinary centers, to foster research creativity and attract gifted faculty and students seeking to travel across knowledge borders. Already many universities have cross–disciplinary centers to develop better grants. A cross–disciplinary technology use curriculum would combine a technology core with another discipline major, e.g., music and computing, accounting and computing, etc. Such a “discipline of disciplines” would attract staff and students from foreign fields like psychology, engineering, computer science, information science, health science, education, business and mathematics, unlike IS which bled into neighbor disciplines. A cross–disciplinary “electronic knowledge portal” could become the “Singapore” of academic knowledge exchange — the place people go to get to other knowledge places." (


  • Reinventing academic publishing online. Part I: Rigor, relevance and practice. by Brian Whitworth and Rob Friedman. First Monday, Volume 14, Number 8 - 3 August 2009


This article is a harsh critique of existing Peer Review as a feudal knowledge exchange system.