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Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research

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Science maps are helpful for distinguishing multidisciplinary research, e.g. environmental research, from interdisciplinary research, e.g. nanoscience. In the figure, research areas related to nanoscience stake out a clear domain between chemical synthesis and physics, while research areas related to the environment are spread out. Interdisciplinary research that relies on shared knowledge is created when fields such as physics and chemistry interact. Nanoscience typifies this phenomenon. In multidisciplinary research, various disciplines address scientific and social challenges independently rather than in collaboration and thus share research goals. Environmental research is of this type.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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