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Multidisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity, and patterns of research collaboration in nanoscience and nanotechnology

Joachim Schummer ()
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Joachim Schummer: University of South Carolina

Scientometrics, 2004, vol. 59, issue 3, 425-465

Abstract: Abstract This paper first describes the recent development that scientists and engineers of many disciplines, countries, and institutions increasingly engage in nanoscale research at breathtaking speed. By co-author analysis of over 600 papers published in “nano journals” in 2002 and 2003, I investigate if this apparent concurrence is accompanied by new forms and degrees of multi- and interdisciplinarity as well as of institutional and geographic research collaboration. Based on a new visualization method, patterns of research collaboration are analyzed and compared with those of classical disciplinary research. I argue that current nanoscale research reveals no particular patterns and degrees of interdisciplinarity and that its apparent multidisciplinarity consists of different largely mono-disciplinary fields which are rather unrelated to each other and which hardly share more than the prefix “nano”.

Date: 2004
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