Defining concepts and the process of knowledge production in integrative research


  • B. Tress
  • G. Tress
  • G. Fry


Recent surveys of integrative landscape research projects and their funding bodies have revealed a lack of common understanding of integrative research concepts such as interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity. This lack of common understanding has had negative consequences for the success of integrative landscape research projects. This chapter presents a set of definitions for integrative and related research concepts. The production of new knowledge - also in the form of new theory and method development - is a characteristic of integrative research. Therefore, this paper also discusses the process of knowledge production in the context of integrative landscape research. In addition we discuss criteria for integration and different levels of stakeholder participation. We introduce a conceptual model, the knowledge cycle, as a way to illustrate the process of specific and generic knowledge production in integrative research. Finally, we comment on different aspects of reflection in integrative research.