Title: Transdisciplinarity within the academic engineering literature

Authors: S. Lattanzio; E. Carey; A. Hultin; R. Imani Asrai; M. McManus; N. Mogles; G. Parry; L.B. Newnes

Addresses: The University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK ' The University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK ' The University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK ' The University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TH, UK ' The University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK ' The University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK ' The University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7TE, UK ' The University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK

Abstract: Despite increased discourse around transdisciplinary (TD) research, there is a perception it has received less attention within engineering. This is significant if, as generally accepted, TD increases the societal value of research. This paper benchmarks TD engineering research against the broader TD literature, addressing the question: How do the characteristics of the academic engineering TD literature compare to the TD academic literature in general? We analyse the chronology, source journals, and text of papers referencing TD within their abstract and compare this to papers that fall within the engineering subject area. The conclusions find that TD research is limited generally, and within engineering specifically. Historically, TD research focuses on sustainability challenges, a persistent trend within the general literature. Within engineering research, the focus of TD is wider and addresses operational and 'grand challenge' problems. TD remains poorly defined and future work should focus on clarifying meaning within the engineering discipline.

Keywords: transdisciplinary; trans-disciplinary; transdisciplinarity; engineering research; characterising transdisciplinarity; characterising transdisciplinary research; benchmark; societal value.

DOI: 10.1504/IJASM.2020.107922

International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, 2020 Vol.13 No.2, pp.213 - 232

Received: 15 Jan 2020
Accepted: 17 Feb 2020

Published online: 26 Jun 2020 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article