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Practice research definitions

As this project brings together a range of different communities we will use this post as a place to articulate definitions. Please note it is a work in progress – do get in touch if you’d like to see terms added or to suggest an amendment to existing definitions!


Data that contextualises other data – not the data itself. There can be different types of metadata. In the context of this project this can include:

  • administrative metadata – provide information about a resource – an example could be preservation metadata such as PREMIS
  • descriptive metadata – describes a resource e.g. Dublin Core
  • structural metadata – describes relationships between different elements of a resource

Non-tangible research outputs

When we say non-tangible research outputs we mean practice activity that is time-based and/or ephemeral (e.g. improvisation, live performance).

Persistent Identifier (PID)

A persistent identifier is a long lasting reference to a digital resource. Examples include ORCiD iDs, Digital Object Identifiers (DOI), RAiD

Practice research

“An umbrella term that describes all manners of research where practice is the significant method of research conveyed in a research output. This includes numerous discipline-specific formulations of practice research, which have distinct and unique balances of practice, research narrative and complementary methods within their projects.”

Research narrative

“In a practice research output, a research narrative may be conjoined with, or embodied in, practice. A research narrative articulates the research enquiry that emerges in practice.”

Bulley, James and Şahin, Özden. Practice Research – Report 1: What is practice research? P1. London: PRAG-UK, 2021. https://doi.org/10.23636/1347.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The most recent submission was REF2021. REF recognises practice-based outputs and as such multi-component outputs in the sub-panels comprising Panel C and Panel D.

Tangible research outputs

Those that are physically present and persist over time within the same medium.


A taxonomy is a scheme of classification e.g. the Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT)

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