I am struggling to write the introduction of a scientific journal paper because it is absurdly novel. I am trying to show the community that we have approaches in different domains that need to be brought together in a specific way to realize the research question I am addressing.

So, it is not an invention of one specific idea in one direction. Still, seeing things in a broader view and trying to stitch together the "right" fits each sub-direction inspired by different domains.

For example, the literature that uses A is unaware of problem B, so they rarely study the use of A to address problem B. The people aware of problem B do not use A but rather use something else that does not efficiently solve their issue. It is a simple example, but my problem also has a C weirdly placed between A and B. The C is a fundamental mathematical approach that unconventionally binds A and B.

The idea and novelty were crystal clear to one anonymous reviewer in the journal, but to the other, merely combining techniques is not enough. To the latter, my introduction does not sound novel and strong. I think it is because my text doesn't grab attention in the way I originally wanted it to.

I want some ideas to name this whole way of thinking precisely and concisely. The only thing that comes to my mind is the "holistic approach." Is there something else that I can use? Saying this a "philosophy" is probably too much. Any help is appreciated.

  • 3
    The main problem is that holistic has suddenly shot up in overuse as annoying business jargon with a vague meaning all because people think it sounds fancy. Avoid it.
    – tchrist
    Commented Mar 16 at 13:44
  • 1
    @tchrist I agree and that is why I wanted to avoid it.
    – CfourPiO
    Commented Mar 18 at 7:59

2 Answers 2


Perhaps you could use integrative, e.g. a novel, integrative approach. It suggests a synergistic benefit.

integrative (adj.)

Combining two or more things in order to make them more effective:

They are developing an integrative approach that will allow the forest to be used for both commercial and recreational purposes.

The group has an integrative strategy for linking biology with the social sciences. Cambridge

As a result, I was able to see that patients who were treated with an integrative approach had a dramatic improvement in their quality of life. I was touched to see that by combining eastern and western medical traditions, it was possible to introduce humanity into the treatment of cancer to help my patients find inner peace and restore their faith.
Mao Shing Ni and Frances Lam; Live Long, Live Strong: An Integrative Approach to Cancer Care and PREVENTION: (2019)

The purpose of this contribution is to apply Alife system (Artificial Life) to the integrative learning of computation, biology, mathematics and scientific epistemology (methods, practices...) in the classroom.
Jordi Vallverdú; "Alife in the Classrooms: an Integrative Learning Approach" in Mario Neto Borge and Nival Nunes de Almeida (eds.); Intelligent Educational Machines (2007)

The onus of integrative problem-solving (IPS) requires the intensive and extensive combination of knowledge and skills associated with distinct areas of human activity.
George Christakos; Integrative Problem-Solving in a Time of Decadence (2010)

  • I accept this answer; it is very insightful and fits my problem well. Thank you!
    – CfourPiO
    Commented Mar 18 at 8:00

'Holistic' conveys the 'making a whole from disparate parts' sense well. But possibly too much connotation / baggage,

'Interdisciplinary' might be used, though it might even be over-inclusive:

Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of multiple academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge from several other fields like sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics, etc. It is about creating something by thinking across boundaries.


  • 4
    Interdisciplinary works well if what is combined really belongs to what are generally treated as different academic disciplines. It is not obvious that that is what the OP has in mind; it may be that it is a combination of different approaches that all belong to the same academic discipline (as these disciplines have been traditionally defined). Incidentally, why do you think that holistic approach has too much baggage? I agree that the excess baggage is a good reason for avoiding holistic philosophy, but holistic approach seems to me to be the perfect term for the OP's purposes.
    – jsw29
    Commented Mar 15 at 22:05
  • Thank you for the answer!
    – CfourPiO
    Commented Mar 18 at 16:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.