Bridging the Disciplinary Divide: Co-Creating Research Ideas in eScience Teams
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Collaboration within eScience teams depends on participants learning each others’ disciplinary perspectives sufficiently to generate cross-disciplinary research questions of interest. Participants in new teams often have a limited understanding of each other’s research interests; hence early team interactions must revolve around exploratory cross-disciplinary learning and the search for interesting linkages between disciplines. This article investigates group learning and creative processes that impact the efficacy of early team interactions, and the impact of those interactions on the generation of integrated conceptual frameworks from which co-created research problems may emerge. Relevant learning and creativity theories were used to design a management intervention that was applied within the context of an incipient eScience team. Project evaluation indicated that the intervention enabled participants to effectively cross disciplines, integrate conceptualizations, and generate research ideas. The findings suggest that attention to group learning and creativity issues may help overcome some barriers to collaboration on eScience teams.
Key wordsinterdisciplinary research learning and collaboration problem finding team science eScience teams cyberinfrastructure teams
This work was supported by National Science Foundation grant numbers OCI-0636317 and OCI-0753336 for the CI-Team Demonstration and Implementation Projects: Advancing Cyber-infrastructure Based Science Through Education, Training, and Mentoring of Science Communities (CI-Team). The author gratefully acknowledges the many collaborators involved in these projects, whose comments and insights have been useful and influential.
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