The Premise of Interdisciplinarity and Its Actual Absence : A Bibliometric Analysis of Publications on Heavy Rainfall

Working together across disciplinary boundaries is considered to be the gold standard for conducting meaningful research tackling complex problems. As this is the nature of many issues concerning water, one would assume interdisciplinarity as being a widespread trait of water research. To review this assumption, we chose to conduct an analysis of research output considering issues of stormwater management and heavy precipitation, as reflected in the meta-information for more than 300,000 documents supplied by Elsevier’s Scopus literature database. For this purpose, we applied a bibliometric measure based on Jaccard similarity determining the level of interdisciplinary cooperation between different fields of research on the topic above. Contrary to interdisciplinarity being depicted as highly desirable, it turns out to be a relatively marginal phenomenon, only growing slowly over the last 50 years.


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