When to Use Transdisciplinary Approaches for Environmental Research

Kiatkoski Kim, Milena, Douglas, Michael M., Pannell, David, Setterfield, Samantha A., Hill, Rosemary, Laborde, Sarah, Perrott, Laura, Alvarez-Romero, Jorge G., Beesley, Leah, Canham, Caroline, and Brecknell, Anthea (2022) When to Use Transdisciplinary Approaches for Environmental Research. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 10. 840569.

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Abstract

Transdisciplinary research (TDR) can help generate solutions to environmental challenges and enhance the uptake of research outputs, thus contributing to advance sustainability in social-ecological systems. Our aim is to support investment decisions in TDR; more specifically, to help funders, researchers, and research users to decide when and why it is most likely to be worth investing in TDR approaches. To achieve our aim, we: 1) define TDR and use a decision tree comparing it with alternative modes of research (i.e., basic, applied, disciplinary, multi-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary research) to help researchers and funders distinguish TDR from other research modes; 2) identify features of the research problem and context (complexity, diverse knowledge systems, contestation, power imbalance, and disagreement on the need for transformative change) where a TDR approach could be more appropriate than the alternative research modes; and 3) explore the idea that the intensity of the contextual features in (2), together with the problem at hand, will help determine where a research project stands in a continuum from low- to high-TDR. We present five studies exemplifying lower- to higher-TDR approaches that are distinguished by: 1) the number and variety of research participants engaged; 2) the strength of involvement of non-academic actors; and 3) the number and variety of disciplines and knowledge systems involved in the research.

Item ID: 74495
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2296-665X
Keywords: cross-cultural research, participatory research, research co-design, research funding, research impact, transdisciplinarity
Copyright Information: © 2022 Kiatkoski Kim, Douglas, Pannell, Setterfield, Hill, Laborde, Perrott, Álvarez-Romero, Beesley, Canham and Brecknell. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2022 23:59
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4199 Other environmental sciences > 419999 Other environmental sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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