Interdisciplinarity; Out of Semantic Confusion in Iran


avatar Shahram Yazdani ORCID 1 , avatar Maryam Hajiahmadi ORCID 1 , * , avatar Sareh Shakerian ORCID 2

1 School of Management & Medical Education Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Community Based Educational Health System Department, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

How to Cite: Yazdani S, Hajiahmadi M , Shakerian S. Interdisciplinarity; Out of Semantic Confusion in Iran. J Med Edu. 2019;18(1):e102539.


Journal of Medical Education: 18 (1); e102539
Published Online: January 31, 2019
Article Type: Research Article
Received: March 10, 2020
Accepted: December 25, 2018


Background: The concept of interdisciplinarity that we recognize today, was initially formed in
1920 in the United States. During this period, the United States Social Science Research Council
expressed its interest in interdisciplinary research. Interdisciplinarity is a multidimensional word with
various meanings and interpretations. It is considered as the newest unknown critical, educational,
and organizational concept in the modern academic environment. In this study, we defined
interdisciplinarity and the characteristics of the underlying concepts to present an analytical definition
of the concept of interdisciplinarity.
Methods: Walker and Avant’s concept analysis method was used. This method is a systematic approach
often used for analyzing relatively new concepts. In order to obtain and extract the applications of
interdisciplinarity and its defining characteristics, we searched different databases and used keywords.
Five main domains that form the defining structure of interdisciplinarity were emerged. Those domains
include nature, integration, method, goal, and levels of interdisciplinarity.
Results: We identified five domains major of “ interdisciplinarity: “nature,” “integration”, “method”,
“goal”, and “levels” of interdisciplinarity. Based on the defining attributes a definition is formulated
for the concept of interdisciplinarity.
Conclusion: This study, achieving a simple and elegant concept, resolved the differences between the
different perspectives in this field and helped us design the theoretical and practical model.


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