Chapter 5: Community

How do interdisciplinary communities and collaborations succeed?

Community and collaboration are major aspects of interdisciplinary work. In an interdisciplinary team, the composition of its members’ disciplinary backgrounds determines both the types of question that can and will be addressed in a particular collaboration as well as the methodology used to answer such questions. It is important here to take into account that one’s interdisciplinary identity may be just as important as one’s disciplinary background in the creation of successful interdisciplinary teams. Simply gathering researchers from different fields does not guarantee that concepts and ideas will be adequately translated. Instead, identity and the personality characteristics relevant to interdisciplinarity (detailed in the previous section) may be more likely indications of interdisciplinary success. The present section underlines the importance of selecting team members based on their willingness to be vulnerable regarding (the limits of) their knowledge; their genuine interest in other fields can hardly be underestimated.


Editors-in-chief: Bram Mellink & Linda Douw
Editors: Anastasia Sergeeva, Antske Fokkens, Boris Noordenbos,
Elsje van Bergen, Miriam Wijkman, Theo Araujo
Illustrations: Merel Barends
Graphic design: Aldus’ producties; Tijl Akkermans
and Kars van den Heuvel

Twitter: @ayoungacademy

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Afbeelding credits

Header afbeelding: 16-9 system.jpg

Icon afbeelding: tip 04 community.jpg