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Creative and practice-based research

Information providing guidance on resources and techniques to searching the literature and writing for creative and practice-based research.

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This guide ...

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This guide provides information and instruction around the process of creative practice research to assist HDR Candidates and academics.

The guide will:

  • Describe the differences between practice-based research and practice-led research.
  • Outline strategies and search techniques that can be used in your searches.
  • Provide links to a number of key information sources.
  • Give instruction on how to write critically and with authority.
  • Outline strategic publishing considerations.
  • Give guidance on managing your data and NTROs.
  • Describe how to measure the impact and engagement of your research.
  • Provide information about copyright.

Complete a Request Research Advice form to get help from a librarian or academic skills advisor.

What is creative practice research?

Creative practice research, ‚Äčalso called practice-based research, is where a specific research question is explored via creative practice processes and/or via the product of a creative endeavour. It is commonly employed in art and design creative practice HDR projects. However, practice-based research also has a history in other disciplines such as medicine, engineering and education where it is often referred to as "action research".

Definitions vary, but research in the creative areas may be considered practice-based or practice-led (Skains, 2018). Practice-based research, according to PRAGUK (n.d.), is research where the "creative artefact is the basis of the contribution to knowledge", whereas in practice-led research the contribution of the research "leads primarily to new understandings about practice".

PRAGUK (n.d.) Methodology, PRAGUK, <>
R. Lyle Skains (2018) Creative Practice as Research: Discourse on Methodology, Media Practice and Education, 19:1, 82-97, <DOI: 10.1080/14682753.2017.1362175>

The following video is a presentation and teaching supplement of practice-based methodology for arts practitioners.