The practice of interdisciplinary work claims the attention of researchers in numerous academic fields. Ecosystem management is a field especially concerned about doing interdisciplinary research in order to provide solutions to environmental problems. However, little is known about the meaning of interdisciplinary work, its purpose, and application in ecosystem management. This paper does a preliminary bibliometric analysis of works representing a body of literature on interdisciplinary research in ecosystem management. Via a search of nine key electronic databases, works using the terms ‘ecosystem management’ and various synonyms for interdisciplinary research were collected. Citations and abstracts for peer-reviewed, English, journal articles published between 1970 and 2008 were included, and resulted in 129 records. Descriptive and correspondence analysis evaluated trends and patterns in the use of the term ‘interdisciplinary’ in this body of literature. Results show that a minority of ecosystem management works mention interdisciplinary research and engage with theories of interdisciplinary research. These works tend to be published in social science journals (as opposed to natural sciences journals) and authors tend to place interdisciplinary terms in title and keywords, and employ keywords related to both the social and the natural sciences. These findings are discussed in the context of institutional, language and philosophical factors that likely discourage ecosystem management researchers from advancing theoretical considerations about interdisciplinary activity in the field.
|Keywords:||Ecosystem Management, Interdisciplinary Research, Interdisciplinary Theory, Literature Evaluation, Ecological Sciences|
PhD Student, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Associate Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada