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  • 1 Human Ecology, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, SE 40530, Göteborg, Sweden
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Abstract

This study addresses whether interdisciplinarity is a prominent feature of climate research by means of a co-citation analysis of the IPCC Third Assessment Report. The debate on interdisciplinarity and bibliometric measures is reviewed to operationalize the contested notion of interdisciplinarity. The results, based on 6417 references of the 96 most frequently used journals, demonstrate that the IPCC assessment of climate change is best characterized by its multidisciplinarity where the physical, biological, bodily and societal dimensions are clearly separated. Although a few fields and journals integrate a wide variety of disciplines, integration occurs mainly between related disciplines (narrow interdisciplinarity) which indicate an overall disciplinary basis of climate research. It is concluded that interdisciplinarity is not a prominent feature of climate research. The significance of this finding is explored, given that the problem scope of climate change necessitates interdisciplinarity. Ways to promote interdisciplinarity are suggested by way of conclusion.

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