Authors:A. Rivas, J. Deshler, F. Quimby, H. Mohammed, D. Wilson, R. Gonzalez, D. Lein, and P. Bruso
Interdisciplinary synthesis and validity analysis (ISVA), a structured learning approach which integrates learning and communication theories, meta-analytic evaluation methods,
and literature management-related technologies was applied in the context of the 1993–1997 bovine mastitis research literature.
This study investigated whether ISVA could: 1) facilitate the analysis and synthesis of interdisciplinary knowledge claims,
and 2) generate projects or research questions. The bovine mastitis-related literature was conceptualized as composed of microbiological,
immunological, and epidemiological dimensions. Keywords involving these dimensions were searched in theMedline andAgricola databases. A final list of 148 articles were retrieved, analyzed, synthesized into fifteen information sub-sets, and evaluated
for construct, internal, external and statistical validity through an interdisciplinary iterative dialogical process. Validity
threats were re-phrased as new research or educational projects.
Authors:A. Rivas, D. Wilson, R. Gonzalez, H. Mohammed, F. Quimby, D. Lein, R. Milligan, R. Colle, J. Deshler, and W. Trochim
An interdisciplinary and systems-oriented approach for evaluation of academic programs was explored in veterinary research,
education and extension in the context of prevention of bovine mastitis. Bibliometric-based document analysis and observation
methods were used to assess disciplinary contents of veterinary research and graduate education theses, and New York State
dairy farmers' adoption rate of selected veterinary recommendations (bacteriological testing of raw milk, “closed herds”,
and three hygiene-related practices). Findings indicated that: a) the veterinary extension literature was lower in output
and less differentiated in disciplinary content than that of the agricultural counterpart; b) three disciplines accounted
for 85% of all theses major contents; and c) 39.7% of New York dairies requested bacteriological testing, 50% of investigated
dairies had “closed herds” and at least 9.4% of those did not adopt all the hygiene-related practices. Context-specific recommendations
are proposed. It is concluded that this evaluation approach may facilitate policy analysis, program development and may be
applicable to other academic settings.