The accuracy of interdisciplinarity measurements is directly related to the quality of the underlying bibliographic data. Existing indicators of interdisciplinarity are not capable of reflecting the inaccuracies introduced by incorrect and incomplete records because correct and complete bibliographic data can rarely be obtained. This is the case for the Rao-Stirling index, which cannot handle references that are not categorized into disciplinary fields. We introduce a method that addresses this problem. It extends the Rao-Stirling index to acknowledge missing data by calculating its interval of uncertainty using computational optimization. The evaluation of our method indicates that the uncertainty interval is not only useful for estimating the inaccuracy of interdisciplinarity measurements, but it also delivers slightly more accurate aggregated interdisciplinarity measurements than the Rao-Stirling index.
Information and Communication Technology