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Fish-Bird: Interdisciplinary Collaboration

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There is currently much debate, particularly in the area of art-science partnerships, as to what actually constitutes ‘collaboration'. In the Fish-Bird project, we have chosen to adopt the following definition. Our definition is deliberately broad, but is also altruistic: it should explicitly acknowledge the contributions of all involved.

We argue that ultimate success or failure of a truly collaborative project, such as the one described here, is best measured by the scholarship of the project outcomes. We define scholarship in terms of the following: knowledge of ‘best practise’ in one’s own discipline; the advancement of ‘best practise’; and the dissemination and uptake of the research outcomes by one’s peers. We believe that in a project such as Fish-Bird artistic merit should not be the sole metric by which the project is judged. True interdisciplinary collaboration demands that the disciplines of all contributors acknowledge the work as a ‘scholarly contribution'. That is, from the viewpoint of each discipline the work has ‘value,’ in making an original contribution to the field.

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