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Free Content Commitment to Continuous Research Is a Key Factor in Transdisciplinarity. Experiences from the Mountland Project

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Transdisciplinary research in sustainability science needs “best practices”. Presenting the framework and main results of the integra tive research project Mountland, we relate our approach to a concept for an ideal-typical transdisciplinary research process. Mountland investigated the impacts of climate and land-use changes on ecosystem processes in three Swiss mountain regions, building on interdisciplinarity and involving stakeholders. The project identified key characteristics relevant in all case study areas and names three aspects essential for an institutional framework to maintain and strengthen important mountain ecosystem goods and services: policy integration, network governance and integration of stakeholders. Comparing Mountland with an ideal-typical transdisciplinary research process, we highlight which components of such a process could or could not successfully be implemented, and discuss the coping strategies we used. Our key message: a longterm commitment to continuous research in a case study region plays a crucial role in successful transdisciplinary research.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2014

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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