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2 Author(s)

The subject of this special issue, the Management of Interdisciplinary Policy Research and Analysis (IPR&A), was first presented at a session of the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in January 1975. Since little has been written about the subject, Joe Coates, Director of Research at the Office of Technology Assessment, recommended that we try to capture the thinking of that session. The papers by Nilles, Polishuk, Baer, and Beal are revised and reviewed versions of papers given at that meeting. They represent papers from three different points of view — government, universities, and nonprofit organizations. Future issues of this Transactions should include similar views from industry to round out the picture; however, the overall general observations probably will not differ. In the papers by Nilles, Baer, and Polishuk, both Interdisciplinary Policy Research and Analysis (IPR&A) and Multidisciplinary Policy Research and Analysis (MPR&A) are defined, and the definitions are amazingly close. The definitions offered by Nilles are quoted here: Interdisciplinary Policy Research and Analysis (IPR&A) — “Implies the joint, coordinated, and continuously integrated research done by experts with different disciplinary backgrounds, working together and producing joint reports, papers, recommendations, and/or plans, which are so tightly and thoroughly interwoven that the specific contributions of each researcher tend to be obscured by the joint product. It involves the interaction of clearly nonadjacent disciplines such as the physical sciences with the social sciences and/or law, economics, etc.”

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Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:EM-23 ,  Issue: 2 )