This paper synthesizes findings from two studies the author conducted that examine how engagement in interdisciplinary research (IDR) influences scholars' careers. Results from these two studies, one large-scale and quantitative and the other small-scale and qualitative, provide a much needed empirical assessment of IDR's effects on individual careers. In essence, they provide a nice antidote (and some caution) to the rhetoric and enthusiasm surrounding IDR. My co-authors of these studies and I find that engaging in interdisciplinary research increases a scholar's visibility in terms of citations, but also presents challenges, including reduced productivity, cognitive challenges, lack of support, extra time and commitment, and framing of one's work. This paper concludes by discussing the policy implications of this research.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Political Science and International Relations