IDR is pluralistic in method and focus. It may be conducted by individuals or groups and may be driven by scientific curiosity or practical needs.
Interdisciplinary thinking is rapidly becoming an integral feature of research as a result of four powerful “drivers”: the inherent complexity of nature and society, the desire to explore problems and questions that are not confined to a single discipline, the need to solve societal problems, and the power of new technologies.
Social-science research has not yet fully elucidated the complex social and intellectual processes that make for successful IDR. A deeper understanding of these processes will further enhance the prospects for creation and management of successful IDR programs.