Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 10
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Stock, Paul and Burton, Rob J.F. 2011. Defining Terms for Integrated (Multi-Inter-Trans-Disciplinary) Sustainability Research. Sustainability, Vol. 3, Issue. 12, p. 1090.

    van Kerkhoff, Lorrae 2014. Developing integrative research for sustainability science through a complexity principles-based approach. Sustainability Science, Vol. 9, Issue. 2, p. 143.

    Jahn, Thomas and Keil, Florian 2015. An actor-specific guideline for quality assurance in transdisciplinary research. Futures, Vol. 65, p. 195.

    Boyd, Davina Buizer, Marleen Schibeci, Renato and Baudains, Catherine 2015. Prompting transdisciplinary research: Promising futures for using the performance metaphor in research. Futures, Vol. 65, p. 175.

    POOLEY, SIMON P. MENDELSOHN, J. ANDREW and MILNER-GULLAND, E. J. 2014. Hunting Down the Chimera of Multiple Disciplinarity in Conservation Science. Conservation Biology, Vol. 28, Issue. 1, p. 22.

    Lawton, Ricky N. and Rudd, Murray A. 2013. Crossdisciplinary research contributions to the United Kingdom′s National Ecosystem Assessment. Ecosystem Services, Vol. 5, p. 149.

    Braunisch, Veronika Home, Robert Pellet, Jérôme and Arlettaz, Raphaël 2012. Conservation science relevant to action: A research agenda identified and prioritized by practitioners. Biological Conservation, Vol. 153, p. 201.

    Mattor, Katherine Betsill, Michele Huayhuaca, Ch’aska Huber-Stearns, Heidi Jedd, Theresa Sternlieb, Faith Bixler, Patrick Luizza, Matthew and Cheng, Antony S. 2014. Transdisciplinary research on environmental governance: A view from the inside. Environmental Science & Policy, Vol. 42, p. 90.

    Buizer, Marleen Ruthrof, Katinka Moore, Susan A. Veneklaas, Erik J. Hardy, Giles and Baudains, Catherine 2015. A Critical Evaluation of Interventions to Progress Transdisciplinary Research. Society & Natural Resources, Vol. 28, Issue. 6, p. 670.

    Pietrzyk-Kaszyńska, Agata and Grodzińska-Jurczak, Małgorzata 2015. Bottom-up perspectives on nature conservation systems: The differences between regional and local administrations. Environmental Science & Policy, Vol. 48, p. 20.


Defining and evaluating the impact of cross-disciplinary conservation research

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 19 November 2010

Cross-disciplinary research is advocated as a way of improving understanding of the complexity of environmental problems; cross-disciplinary projects, centres and academic institutes have increased. However, there is confusion over the nature of cross-disciplinary research. Through review of papers defining themselves as cross-disciplinary that aim to address conservation problems, and by standardizing the definition of cross-disciplinary research, it is possible to evaluate the potential research impact on peers and practitioners. When papers were reclassified by authors, those reclassified as transdisciplinary were perceived to have a greater impact on practitioners, and those reclassified as non cross-disciplinary had the greatest impact on colleagues. Having clear definitions for types of cross-disciplinary research would help establish a firm foundation, not only for improving research quality, but also for evaluating research impact. While the number of cross-disciplinary studies is increasing, cross-disciplinary research falls short of integrating disciplinary methods in much depth and does not have much impact on participants outside of academia.

Corresponding author
*Correspondence: Dr Anna Evely e-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

H. Akaike (1974) A new look at the statistical model identification. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control 19: 716723.

P.L. Angermeier (2000) The natural imperative for biological conservation. Conservation Biology 14: 373381.

T.C. Beierle (2002) The quality of practitioner-based decisions. Risk Analysis 22: 739749.

K.L. Blackstock , G.J. Kelly & B.L. Horsey (2007) Developing and applying a framework to evaluate participatory research for sustainability. Ecological Economics 60: 726742.

S.D. Brody (2003) Measuring the effects of practitioner participation on the quality of local plans based on the principles of collaborative ecosystem management. Journal of Planning Education and Research 22: 407419.

A. Bruce , C. Lyall , J. Tait & R. Williams (2004) Interdisciplinary integration in Europe: the case of the Fifth Framework programme. Futures 36: 457470.

L. Carlsson & F. Berkes (2005) Co-management: concepts and methodological implications. Journal of Environmental Management 75: 6576.

T.W. Clark (2001) Developing policy-oriented curricula for conservation biology: professional and leadership education in the public interest. Conservation Biology 15: 3139.

J. Colding & C. Folke (2001) Social taboos: ‘invisible’ systems of local resource management and biological conservation. Ecological Applications 11: 584600.

G.C. Daily & P.R. Ehrlich (1999) Managing earth's ecosystems: an interdisciplinary challenge. Ecosystems 2: 277280.

I. Fazey , J. Fischer & D.B. Lindenmayer (2005 b) What do conservation biologists publish? Biological Conservation 124: 6373.

C. Folke , T. Hahn , P. Olsson & J. Norberg (2005) Adaptive governance of social-ecological systems. Annual Review of Environmental Resources 30: 441473.

J.K. Graybill , S. Dooling , V. Shandas , J. Withey , A Greve & G.L. Simon (2006) A rough guide to interdisciplinarity graduate student perspectives. BioScience 56: 757763.

J.P.A. Ioannidis (2006) Concentration of the most-cited papers in the scientific literature: analysis of journal ecosystems. PLoS ONE 1 (1): e5. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000005

P. Kareiva , M. Marvier , S. West & J. Hornisher (2002) Slow-moving journals hinder conservation efforts. Nature 420: 15.

R.W. Kates , W.C. Clark , R. Corell , J.M. Hall , C.C. Jaeger , I. Lowe , J.J. McCarthy , H.J. Schellnhuber , B. Bolin , N.M. Dickson , S. Faucheux , G.C. Gallopin , A. Grubler , B. Huntley , J. Jager , N.S. Jodha , R.E. Kasperson , A. Mabogunje , P. Matson , H. Mooney , B. Moore , T. O'Riordan & U. Svedin (2001) Environment and development: sustainability science. Science 292: 641642.

A. Kinzig (2001) Bridging disciplinary divides to address environmental and intellectual challenges. Ecosystems 4: 709–71.

J.R. Landis & G.G. Koch (1977) The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics 33: 159–74.

R.J. Lawrence & C. Després (2004) Futures of transdisciplinarity. Futures 36: 398.

A.S. Pullin , T.M. Knight , D.A. Stone & K. Charman (2004) Do conservation managers use scientific evidence to support their decision-making? Biological Conservation 119: 245252.

M.S. Reed (2008) Stakeholder participation for environmental management. Biological Conservation 141: 24172431.

O. Renn , T. Webler & P. Wiedemann , eds (1995) Fairness and Competence in Citizen Participation. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

G. Rowe & L. Frewer (2000) Public participation methods: a framework for evaluation in science. Technology and Human Values 25: 329.

D. Stokols , J. Fuqua , J. Gress , R. Harvey , K. Phillips , L. Baezconde-Garbanati , J. Unger , P. Palmer , M. Clark , S. Colby , G. Morgan & W. Trochin (2003) Evaluating transdisciplinary science. Nicotine and Tobacco Research 5: 2139.

W.J. Sutherland , S. Armstrong-Brown , P.R. Armsworth , B. Tom , J. Brickland , C.D. Campbell , D.E. Chamberlain , A.I. Cooke , N.K. Dulvy , N.R. Dusic , M. Fitton , R.P. Freckleton , H.C.J. Godfray , N. Grout , H.J. Harvey , C. Hedley , J.J. Hopkins , N.B. Kift , J. Kirby , W.E. Kunin , D.W. Macdonald , B. Marker , M. Naura , A.R. Neale , T. Oliver , D. Osborn , A.S. Pullin , M.E.A. Shardlow , D.A. Showler , P.L. Smith , R.J. Smithers , J.L. Solandt , J. Spencer , C.J. Spray , C.D. Thomas & J. Thompson (2006) The identification of 100 ecological questions of high policy relevance in the UK. Journal of Applied Ecology 43: 617627.

B. Tress , G. Tress & G. Fry (2005 a) Clarifying integrative research concepts in landscape ecology. Landscape Ecology 20: 479493.

B. Tress , G. Tress & G. Fry (2005 b) Researchers' experiences, positive and negative, in integrative landscape projects. Environmental Management 36: 792807.

W.N. Venables & B.D. Ripley (2002) Modern Applied Statistics with SPSS. Fourth edition. New York, NY, USA: Springer.

T. Webler (1999) The craft and theory of public participation: a dialectical process. Journal of Risk Research 2: 5571.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Environmental Conservation
  • ISSN: 0376-8929
  • EISSN: 1469-4387
  • URL: /core/journals/environmental-conservation
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Type Description Title
Supplementary Materials

Evely supplementary material

 Unknown (42 KB)
42 KB