My colleagues, Karin Bijsterveld and Aagje Swinnen have put together a great collection called Interdisciplinarity in the scholarly life cycle, Learning by example in Humanities and Social Science research. The book includes 15 original chapters plus an introduction by the editors. Interdisciplinarity is much celebrated in current research policy, but little is known about how actually to pull it off in practice. The book provides very accessible experiences of ‘doing’ interdisciplinarity.
All of the contributors are (or have been in recent past) working at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) at Maastricht University. FASoS researchers are committed to interdisciplinary ways of both teaching and doing research. This volume explores those experiences. FASoS has four different research programmes, and contributions come from all four:
- Arts, Media & Culture
- Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development
- Politics and Culture in Europe
- Science, Technology and Society Studies
The book is fully open access, and can be downloaded here.
Together with Kathleen Gregory, Andrea Scharnhorst and Paul Groth, I contributed a chapter called, ‘The Mysterious User of Research Data: Knitting Together Science and Technology Studies with Information and Computer Science’. It builds on Kathleen’s PhD, awarded in 2021. An extra special treat, the chapter includes a photo of my ‘knitted web of science #2’. This one captures the interdisciplinarity of Kathleen’s PhD. (Knitted web of science #1 explored the gendered nature of citation practices.)
Abstract: Open, accessible, and standardized research data are seen as essential scaffolding for open science. To support this vision, data repositories and scientific publishers have developed new tools to facilitate data discovery while funders and policy makers have implemented open science and data management policies. Users are often invoked as central to these efforts. Despite this stated focus, the concept of ‘user’ often remains an abstraction, visible only via anonymous ensembles of click behaviour or data management plans. Our chapter reports and reflects on a project which draws on science and technology studies (STS) to open up the black box of research data use, bridging the gap between designers of data search systems and researchers who (re-)use both data and these systems in their actual practices. Quantitative and qualitative studies conducted in the course of Kathleen’s PhD were drawn upon to demonstrate the insights gained from an interdisciplinary approach.