Research press release





今回、Lindell Bromhamたちは、2010~2014年にオーストラリア研究会議のディスカバリープログラムに提出された18,476件の研究提案書(芸術、人文科学、自然科学の分野の研究を含む)に関連した助成金データを調べた。そして、Bromhamたちは、このデータを用いて新たな評価指標を開発し、「学際的距離(IDD)」と命名した。IDDには、1つの研究に表現されている複数の研究分野の相対的位置づけとそれらの研究分野間の違いの程度が示されている。その結果、IDDが高いことと助成金の受給成功率は常に負の相関関係にあり、この結果は、申請年度、提案書に記載された研究分野の数、主たる研究分野と無関係なことが判明した。


Research projects with a greater degree of interdisciplinarity face a lower probability of being funded, finds a study published in this week’s Nature.

Although interdisciplinary research is generally regarded as a fertile ground for innovation - and therefore often encouraged at policy level - there is a widespread perception that interdisciplinary research is less likely to be rewarded by funding bodies than research with a narrow subject focus. However, this perception has not been systematically tested on a broad scale.

Lindell Bromham and colleagues examined grant data associated with 18,476 research proposals - including disciplines within the arts, humanities and sciences - submitted to the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Programme between 2010 and 2014. The authors use these data to develop a metric they call ‘interdisciplinary distance’ (IDD) that captures the relative representation of different fields and the degree of difference between them. They find that higher IDD is consistently negatively correlated with funding success and that this result is independent of year of application, number of research fields in the proposal and primary research field.

The authors speculate that the lower funding success rates of interdisciplinary projects may be due to proposals being assessed by reviewers who are ill-equipped to evaluate all parts of the project. In addition, the average quality of interdisciplinary proposals may not be as high as that of more narrowly focused research, when evaluated with the same measures of success. This finding provides the basis for further investigation into the development and evaluation of interdisciplinary research.

doi: 10.1038/nature18315

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