Recently, in cooperation with our partners – Elsevier, we have conducted a survey investigating the perceived differences between publishing monodisciplinary and interdisciplinary research. The aim of the survey was to discover whether the factors that influence the decisions which journal to publish in, the writing strategies authors employ to ensure the articles are accepted by the journals, and the selection criteria of reviewers and editors differ with respect the research being mono- or inter-disciplinary.
The participants were selected based on the criterion that they have published an article in one of Elsevier’s academic journals. The majority have published an article in one of the 11 journals that our analyses are focussing on, which include: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment (AEE), Biosystems (B), Computers, Environment and Urban Systems (CEUS), Environmental Pollution (EP), Global Environmental Change (GEC), Journal of Rural Studies (JRS), Advances in Water Resources (AWR), Journal of Strategic Information Systems (JSIS), Plant Science (PS), Resource and Energy Economics (REE), and Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment (TRTE). In addition to researchers with experience in interdisciplinary research, the survey also aimed to include reviewers and editors of both mono- and inter-disciplinary journals, which were identified from the sample. Continue Reading
In the previous post we have presented one part of our topic modelling exercise in which we have investigated which of the 100 identified topics were represented in the journal of Global Environmental Change (GEC) more than any other journal. These topics represent the distinctive aspects of the journal and analysing their distribution over the years will allows us to investigate whether and how the journal has changed over the years. By correlating the results of our labelling exercise and multi-dimensional analysis we can observe in what manner, or which type of papers and contexts, these topics are usually discussed. More importantly, as these topics are computationally calculated groups of words, identifying the contexts in which these topics occur in will allow us to interpret the topics themselves. Continue Reading
Paper labelling was an exercise we categorised papers published in the journal of Global Environmental Change (GEC) in order to gain further insights into the types of papers that were published in the journal and to aid the interpretation of other analyses we employed. The papers were labelled, or categorised, in a bottom-up approach in which categories were established by reading a number of papers from the journal.
Initially we developed a system with seven categories, but these proved either too specific or too closely related, resulting in poor agreement when we categorised papers independently. Thus the number of categories was reduced and their description broadened. The final set included four categories: 1) Empirical, 2) Policy discussion, 3) Research agenda and Research Framework and 4) Other papers. Using this framework we have achieved a reasonable agreement rate (76.6%) between two researchers. Continue Reading
Last week, Akira has done a little analysis on the number of authors per paper in the journals included in our corpus and discovered that in certain journals the number of multi-authored papers increased over time, but also that the number of authors per multi-authored paper has increased as well.
The journals Akira analysed were provided by our partners, Elsevier publishers, and include the following journals: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment (AEE), Biosystems (B), Computers, Environment and Urban Systems (CEUS), Environmental Pollution (EP), Global Environmental Change (GEC), Journal of Rural Studies (JRS), Advances in Water Resources (AWR), Journal of Strategic Information Systems (JSIS), Plant Science (PS), Resource and Energy Economics (REE), and Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment (TRTE).
The results of the analysis show that AEE, EP, AWR, and PS journals show a noticeable increase in the number of papers with 5 or more authors over a period of 10 years. At the same time, a drop in the number of single-authored papers can also be noticed.
This applies to both the journals labelled as mono-disciplinary (MD), i.e. Advances in Water Resources (AWR) and Plant Science, and interdisciplinary (ID) journals, such as Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment (AEE) and Environmental Pollution (EP).
One possible explanation for this tendency is that the research teams have grown in the number of people involved in the research over the decade. Alternatively, it may also imply a greater cooperation between different research teams.
If you have any thoughts or insight why this may be so, please leave us a comment below.
We have completed the full research corpus by adding another 10 journals to the already compiled corpus of the Global Environmental Change (GEC) research articles. In the same manner as with GEC, only the main body of each paper has been included into the corpus. Thus, all the contents of abstracts, footnotes, boxes, references and appendices have been excluded from the data set.
In total, the corpus consists of 11 journals, and includes 11462 journal articles which amount to more than 53 million word tokens making it of the largest specialised corpora. In comparison, general language corpora like, for example, the British National Corpus (BNC) and Bank of English (BoE), consist of 100 and 450 million word tokens respectively. Thus, our corpus represents a significant body of both monodisciplianry and interdisciplinary discourse. Continue Reading