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Getting it wrong first time: building an interdisciplinary research relationship

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This paper addresses recent debates on the need for greater collaboration across the physical and human geography divide. We discuss some of the problems of producing work that can be considered genuinely interdisciplinary. The paper reflects on a project examining the use of sustainable drainage systems in Glasgow and how we unwittingly produced a piece of social science research looking at a physical science topic. We suggest that more than simply the need for ‘trust’ between researchers, the actual practice of working together in the field – and, indeed, having the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them – is essential. In working together, academics have a better opportunity to understand each other's intellectual and epistemological framework and develop projects where researchers can move beyond their disciplinary boundaries and weave their expertise into a coherent research output.

Keywords: Glasgow; human and physical geography; interdisciplinarity; methodology; sustainable drainage

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, Email: 2: Department of Geography, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZT

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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