About the project


Investigating interdisciplinary research discourse: the case of Global Environmental Change (IDRD) was a project run as a collaboration between the Centre for Corpus Research, University of Birmingham, and the international scientific publisher, Elsevier. It was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK). The project focused on the discourse of interdisciplinary research. In particular, we investigated the extent to which interdisciplinary research fields operate as a unified whole and, in contrast, the extent to which disciplines maintain their discrete identities in interdisciplinary discourse.

Specifically, we investigated the discourse of interdisciplinary research (IDR) through comprehensive and innovative linguistic analyses of both discipline-specific and interdisciplinary journals. The investigation focused on content published in Elsevier’s journal Global Environmental Change (GEC), a highly interdisciplinary journal, and a group of selected control journals. Elsevier provided free access to the journals, as well as analytical support with citation analysis, and helped us to contact journal editors, reviewers, and authors for additional qualitative surveys and interviews.

We believe that this research is valuable to institutions, research councils and researchers as it contributes to a fuller understanding of what the distinctive features of discourse practices in interdisciplinary research are and of how they differ from discourse practices in conventional disciplines. The purpose of this website is to communicate our research to a wide range of audiences with interests in interdisciplinary research, corpus linguistics, research policy, and global environmental change.

IDRDlogo_300 University-of-Birmingham-crest Elsevierlogo_300 esrc_logo

One Comment

  1. interesting research. I can’t wait to read the outcomes of this groundbreaking research by gurus in corpus linguistics. in fact disciplinary discourses interest me so much. i am currently undertaking a research into a lecture corpus from Ghana. The study is situated in the disciplinary variationist frame to find out differences in the discourse references and functions of I, WE and YOU across Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences (Hyland, 2009).

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