A comparison of two approaches for measuring interdisciplinary research output: The disciplinary diversity of authors vs the disciplinary diversity of the reference list
This study investigates the convergence of two bibliometric approaches to the measurement of interdisciplinary research: one based on analyzing disciplinary diversity in the reference list of publications, the other based on the disciplinary diversity of authors of publications. In particular we measure the variety, balance, disparity and integrated diversity index of, respectively, single-author, multi-author single-field, and multi-author multi-field publications. We find that, in general, the diversity of the reference list grows with the number of fields reflected in a paper’s authors’ list and, to a lesser extent, with the number of authors being equal the number of fields. Further, we find that when fields belonging to different disciplines are reflected in the authors’ list, the disparity in the reference list is higher than in the case of fields belonging to the same discipline. However, this general tendency varies across disciplines, and noticeable exceptions are found at individual paper level.