Bridging the Disciplinary Divide: Co-Creating Research Ideas in eScience Teams
Collaboration within eScience teams depends on participants learning each others’ disciplinary perspectives sufficiently to generate cross-disciplinary research questions of interest. Participants in new teams often have a limited understanding of each other’s research interests; hence early team interactions must revolve around exploratory cross-disciplinary learning and the search for interesting linkages between disciplines. This article investigates group learning and creative processes that impact the efficacy of early team interactions, and the impact of those interactions on the generation of integrated conceptual frameworks from which co-created research problems may emerge. Relevant learning and creativity theories were used to design a management intervention that was applied within the context of an incipient eScience team. Project evaluation indicated that the intervention enabled participants to effectively cross disciplines, integrate conceptualizations, and generate research ideas. The findings suggest that attention to group learning and creativity issues may help overcome some barriers to collaboration on eScience teams.