Interdisciplinary Research and Information Overload

Resource Author:  Patrick Wilson
Resource Date:  9/1/1996
Resource Name:  Library Trends
URL:   Link to Source Article or Site

Information demand is a problem for all those involved in research but seems especially threatening to interdisciplinary research.  Teamwork supplies the remedy, but most research in the social sciences and humanities is done by scholars working alone.  That fact limits the scope for interdisciplinary work.  In this article, we examine several ways in which actual and potential overload affects research choices for the solo researcher, paying special attention  to the creation of ad hoc interdisciplinary specialties.  As a matter of policy, should solo interdisciplinary work be encouraged?  A strong social preference for interdisciplinary might discourage solo practice as just another example of the huge disparity between individual and collective capacities.