Title: Interdisciplinarity and impact: Distinct effects of variety, balance and disparity
Other Titles: MSI Working Paper
Authors: Wang, Jian
Thijs, Bart
Glänzel, Wolfgang
Issue Date: Dec-2014
Publisher: KU Leuven - Faculty of Economics and Business
Series Title: FEB Research Report MSI_1422 vol:MSI_1422
Abstract: Interdisciplinary research is increasingly recognized as the solution to today’s challenging scientific and societal problems, but the relationship between interdisciplinary research and scientific impact is still unclear. This paper studies the relationship between interdisciplinarity and citations at the paper level. Different from previous literature compositing various aspects of interdisciplinarity into a single indicator, this paper uses factor analysis to uncover distinct aspects of interdisciplinarity and investigates their independent dynamics with scientific impact. Three uncovered factors correspond to variety, balance and disparity respectively. Subsequently, we estimate Poisson models with journal fixed effects and robust standard errors to investigate the relationship between these three factor and citations. We find that long-term (13-year) citations (1) increase at an increasing rate with variety, (2) decrease with balance, and (3) increase at a decreasing rate with disparity. Furthermore, interdisciplinarity also affects the process of citation accumulation: (1) although variety and disparity have positive effects on long-term citations, they have negative effects on short-term (3-year) citations, and (2) although balance has a negative effect on long-term citations, its negative effect is insignificant in the short run. These findings have important implications for interdisciplinarity research and science policy.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IR
Appears in Collections:Department of Managerial Economics, Strategy and Innovation (MSI), Leuven

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