Make your practice-based arts research open

We recognise that research in practice-based arts has qualities unique to the range of disciplines encompassed in this area – from fine and performing arts to architecture and design. These include recognition that:

  • you create a dynamic, changing body (portfolio/collection) of work
  • your research isn’t necessarily ‘funded’ (so often isn’t included in funder open access policies nor the associated funding)
  • you face unique Intellectual Property Rights and Copyright challenges in sharing your work
  • your research isn’t necessarily captured (or preserved) elsewhere.

As such when we re-developed WestminsterResearch our open source institutional repository we worked with researchers in the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) and Experimental Practice to better reflect how you see your research.

Enhancements we made include:

  • updating our output type options to include artefact, composition, design, digital or visual media, exhibition or performance
  • templates that now include both creator (not author) and collaborator roles and the recognition that there may be a commissioning body (rather than publisher)
  • the option to identify a media type within each record (rather than it being seen as an ‘output type’)
  • the ability to apply access levels to files which recognises that there may be IP or copyright reasons that a file cannot be made open (and the development of a guide to copyright for researcher to help support you in making your work open).

It is also now possible to create a portfolio (or collection) which means you can connect up (for example) multiple image records, an exhibition record and perhaps an exhibition catalogue together. This recognises that the documentation (or research data) is a core part of telling the story of practice-based arts research.

See Julie Marsh’s Assembly: performing the materiality of Muslim prayer spaces for a great example of how a portfolio can look.

Adding your research to WestminsterResearch also allows you to make it Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable (see the FAIR principles for more information) by:

  • enabling you to request a DOI for outputs not published elsewhere (see Creating a DOI in the VRE for more information)
  • conforming to international standards for discoverability and interoperability
  • enabling you to assign an appropriate licence (where possible) to enable re-use (see Creative Commons for more information on using these licenses).

So ultimately – sharing you research in WestminsterResearch enables you to maintain the connection between the different parts and makes it as discoverable and re-usable as possible. In 2021 we will be working on extending this to preservation of this research for the long term.

For more information about adding your research – please get in touch with




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