Interim seminar: report


Last Monday, 22 September 2014, we held a seminar presenting the interim findings of our research on interdisciplinary research discourse. The seminar was attended by representatives of research councils (ESRC, EPSRC), publishers (Elsevier), interdisciplinary researchers, and Study Skills and English for Academic Purposes (EAP) teachers, who were invited as potential user groups for our project.

The focus of the seminar was to present our interim findings and start a discussion with the user groups on the potential impact of our research in their fields, as well as to discover which other lines of inquiry they would like us to pursue. Specifically, the presentations included our exercise on the categorisation of interdisciplinary research papers, a summary of interviews with researchers, authors and journal editors on the use of language in interdisciplinary research, our progress in the application of multi-dimensional analysis and topic modelling to interdisciplinary research discourse and other areas of research. A summary of each of these presentations will be uploaded on this blog.

We have received very positive feedback from the attendees, particularly regarding the potential impact our research could have with respect to research funding allocations procedure and publication of interdisciplinary research. On the other hand, this seminar was very beneficial for us to develop a better understanding of the needs of our user groups, the problems they encounter regarding interdisciplinary discourse, and how to steer our future inquiries in order to address them.

To conclude, here are some of comments from our feedback forms:

Discussing the overall problems of language across disciplines is what I’m interested in, so hearing about these issues and seeing differences on screen and the examples was very beneficial.

Seeing a partnered project with triangulated data sets and analyses, using adapted frameworks and new tools to progress so quickly in a year – very inspiring work.

This seminar has informed me more about the debate ongoing with editors, researchers and other consumers of interdisciplinary research as to the benefits and difficulties of the undertaking.

Very welcoming and nicely organised day, which made me reflect again on questions I find hugely interesting. I wish you all the best with the project and will be very interested in the findings. The topic modelling was fascinating!

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