This chapter addresses some of the more fundamental issues in research on interpreting. After a reflection on the purpose and use of research on interpreting, the diversity of concepts, models and interdisciplinary approaches is used as a point of departure for a reflection on the identity of the field as a scientific discipline. Based on a review of basic epistemological positions and methodological choices, interpreting studies is portrayed as an empirical-interpretive discipline with an affinity to the social sciences and a natural sensitivity to constructivist orientations. Given the wide array of methodological options, mixed-methods designs are discussed and exemplified as a promising approach that transcends the quantitative-vs-qualitative controversy and is well attuned to the complexity of the object of study.
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