A new figure of the disciplinarities: intra, cross, multi, inter, trans

Back in 2012, I published what has become my (by far) most-read blog post: Disciplinarities: intra, cross, multi, inter, trans. There I introduced a figure that I regularly receive permission requests to republish (which I always give, in the spirit of open research).

The challenge with the previous blog post has been that I based my figure on a combination of a textual description by Stember and a more limited figure by Zeigler. This led to inconsistency when it comes to two of the disciplinarities: cross and multi. That is because the figure and the textual description do not match up.

I have received many comments about this mixup over the years, and have also thought a great deal about the differences between the two. In my new book I write about interdisciplinarity in the introduction and decided to remake the figure and fix the inconsistency in my argument. I now think about multidisciplinarity as “the step” before interdisciplinarity, while crossdisciplinarity is closer to interdisciplinarity.

Anyways, here is the new figure:

An illustration of different types of disciplinarities. License: CC-BY.

I hope it can be useful to people interested in the differences between the terms. Feel free to use it if you like it. This one comes with a CC-BY license to allow for reuse.

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Alexander Refsum Jensenius is a music researcher and research musician living in Oslo, Norway.