A Network Theoretical Approach to Assess Knowledge Integration in Information Studies

  • José María Díaz-Nafría
  • Teresa GuardaEmail author
  • Iván Coronel
Conference paper
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 94)


The paper presents a general approach to assess knowledge integration as a basis to evaluate the performance of transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches with respect to their knowledge integration capacity. The method is based on the development of Interdisciplinary-glossaries as tools for the elucidation of the conceptual networks involved in interdisciplinary studies. Such ID-glossaries are used as proxies of the corresponding knowledge integration, which is measured through the structural analysis of the co-occurrence network of terms. This approach is applied to an ID-glossary devoted to the general study of information, called glossariumBITri. The results show the capacity of the approach to detect integration achievements, challenges and barriers. Its qualitative nature is complemented by an enhanced methodology in which both the diversity of disciplines and the knowledge integration can be measured in a bi-dimensional index. To that purpose each contribution to the target ID-glossary is identified by the knowledge domains involved (using a set of knowledge domains adapted from the higher categories of the Universal Decimal Classification), while the integration is measured in terms of the small-world coefficient of the co-occurrence of terms.


Interdisciplinarity Network analysis Knowledge integration Transdisciplinarity Information studies 


  1. 1.
    Hempel, C.G.: Fundamentals of Concept Formation in Empirical Science, vol. 2. University of Chicago, University of Chicago Press (1952)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Losee, J.: A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Science. OUP Oxford, New York (2001)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    d’Hainault, L.: Interdisciplinarity in General Education. UNESCO, Paris (1986)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Díaz-Nafría, J.M., Salto, F., Pérez-Montoro, M.: Glossarium BITri 2016: Interdisciplinary Elucidation of Concepts, Metaphors, Theories and Problems Concerning Information, La Libertad (Ecuador)-León. Universidad Estatal Península de Santa Elena, Spain, Santa Elena (2016)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lattuca, L.R.: Creating Interdisciplinarity: Interdisciplinary Research and Teaching Among College and University Faculty, pp. 1–20. Vanderbilt University Press, Chicago (2001)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    PRIMER consortium: PRomoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education, BITrum-Research Group, 2018. Accessed 20 Jan 2018
  7. 7.
    Drieger, P.: Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, pp. 4–17. Elsevier Ltd. (2013)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Díaz-Nafría, J.M.: Cyber-subsidiarity: toward a global sustainable information society. In: Carayannis, E.G., et al. (eds.) Handbook of Cyber-Development, Cyber-Democracy, and Cyber-Defense, pp. 1–30. Springer, Berlin (2017)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jackson, K.M., Trochim, W.M.: Concept mapping as an alternative approach for the analysis of open-ended survey responses. Cornell Univ. 5(4), 307–336 (2002)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Barabási, A.-L.: The New Science of Networks, vol. 30, p. 288. Perseus Publishing, Cambridge (2002)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Koichi, H.: KH Coder 3 Reference Manual. Ritsumeikan University, Kioto (2016)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Shinobu, A., Chie, M.: Missions of the Japanese National University corporations in the 21st century: content analysis of mission statements. Acad. J. Interdiscip. Stud. 2(3), 197–207 (2013)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bateson, G.: Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity. Hampton Press, New Jersey (2002)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Díaz-Nafría, J.M.: What is information? A multidimensional concern, pp. 77–108. TripleC, España (2010)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Díaz-Nafria, J.M., Curras, E.: Systems Science and Collaborative Information Systems: Theories, Practices and New Research, pp. 37–70. IGI Global (2011)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sigman, M., Cecchi, G.: Global organization of the wordnet lexicon, vol. 99, no. 3, pp. 1742–1747 (2002)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    McIlwaine, I.C.: The Universal Decimal Classification: A Guide to its Use, UDC Consortium (2007)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Slavic, A.: Innovations in Information Retrieval: Perspectives for Theory and Practice, pp. 23–48. Facet Publishing, London (2011)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    C. UDC, UDC Fact Sheet. In UDCC website, The Hague (2017).
  20. 20.
    Telesford, Q.K., Joyce, K.E., Hayasa, S.: The ubiquity of small-world networks. Brain Connect. 1(5), 367–375 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Frodeman, R., Klein, J.T., Dos Santos Pacheco R.C.: The Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2017)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    DEA-FBE, Thinking Across Disciplines – Interdisciplinarity in Research and Education, Australia: Danish Business Research Academy (DEA) & Danish Forum for Business Education (FBE) (2008)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    European Research Advisory Board (EURAB), Interdisciplinarity in Research, European Commission - EURAB (2004)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Díez-Gutiérrez, E., Díaz-Nafría, J.: Ubiquitous learning ecologies for a critical cybercitizenship. Comunicar XXVL(54), 54, 49–58 (2018)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Barão, A., de Vasconcelos, J.B., Rocha, Á., Pereira, R.: A knowledge management approach to capture organizational learning networks. Int. J. Inf. Manag. 37(6), 735–740 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • José María Díaz-Nafría
    • 1
    • 2
  • Teresa Guarda
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  • Iván Coronel
    • 3
  1. 1.BITrum-Research GroupLeónSpain
  2. 2.Munich University of Applied SciencesMunichGermany
  3. 3.Universidad Estatal Península de Santa Elena – UPSELa LibertadEcuador
  4. 4.Algoritmi CentreMinho UniversityGuimarãesPortugal
  5. 5.Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas-ESPESangolqui, QuitoEcuador

Personalised recommendations