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Dissertation Information for Kelly L. Maglaughlin

- Kelly L. Maglaughlin

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (USA) (2003)

- Diane H. Sonnenwald

- Gary Marchionini
- Paul Solomon
- Denis Owens Gray
- Mary C. Whitton

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: An exploration of interdisciplinary academic scientific collaboration factors

Abstract: Interdisciplinary scientific collaborations are increasingly necessary to address complex problems, and as problems become more complex collaborations in scientific research and development may become increasingly diverse. These collaborations may include scientists from two or more disciplines and departments or organizations that may have different research environments. To encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration, there is a need to better understand which information and communication factors are most critical to its success. This understanding may help inform the design of the next generation of collaboration technology and scientific practice and education.

This dissertation explores information and communication factors that impact academic inter-disciplinary scientific collaboration and how they might differ from intra-disciplinary collaboration. The dissertation reviews the research literature on collaboration, scientific disciplines, and inter-disciplinary scientific collaboration. It synthesizes this literature, highlighting the different concepts associated with the inter-disciplinary research and the terms used to describe them and proposes a conceptual framework to more fully characterize inter-disciplinary collaboration and help identify factors that may be critical to successful interdisciplinary scientific collaboration in academia. The proposed framework was evaluated using data from semi-structured interviews with 22 scientists who had extensive experience in both inter- and intra-disciplinary collaboration in academic settings.

The empirical data suggests that facets vary in importance over the course of the collaboration process. For example, the factors in the Matter facet appear to play a larger role in the foundation and conclusion stages while the factors in the Personality and Energy facet appear to be more important to the Implementation stage.

An examination of the benefits and barriers each factor provides during the collaboration process indicates differences between inter- and intra-disciplinary collaboration. For example, a majority of the participants indicated that, unlike for intra-disciplinary collaboration, their institutions did not provide direct support for inter-disciplinary collaboration and often institutional barriers, such as inter-departmental politics, made inter-disciplinary collaboration more difficult than intra-disciplinary collaboration.

In conclusion, implications of these results for scholars of collaboration, managers of interdisciplinary collaborations, individual scientists, university policy, and science education are discussed.

MPACT Scores for Kelly L. Maglaughlin

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:20:50

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Students under Kelly L. Maglaughlin

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