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Creative and practice-based research

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

Upcoming Research Spotlight webinars

A collection of computer and laptop screens showing online meetings.

We run regular online presentations by guest speakers on different aspects of research. Recordings of past webinars are also available.

Open Research including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Traditional Knowledges and Culture. 

A collaboration between the Indigenous Research Network and the RMIT University Library, hear from Professor Gary Thomas, Pro Vice Chancellor Indigenous Education, Research and Engagement, and Professor Matt Duckham, Director Information in Society Enabling Impact Platform (EIP), as they discuss and explore considerations and ethical implications inherent in open research practices involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  

In addition, we’ll gain insights from Indigenous researchers as we delve into the principles of ethical research. We’ll explore how to respect and uphold the integrity of Traditional Knowledge and cultural heritage in data sharing, publishing, citation practices and the ethical navigation required when working with Indigenous knowledge.  

The Kaleide Theatre is located in Building 8, 360 Swanston Street, Melbourne.

Date, time & place:  May 1, 2.00pm - 3.30pm at the Kaleide Theatre, and live streamed.

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

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., para. 11), 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". As such, in a practice-based doctoral thesis, creative outputs, such as a sculpture or a novel, are integral to the research process. The written work, which describes the development, nature, and innovation of these creative outputs, is intrinsically linked to the creative work itself and cannot be fully understood without it (Candy, 2006). On the contrary, in a practice-led doctoral thesis, the research results can be entirely conveyed through language, offering theoretical insights into the practice without requiring the inclusion of a creative work.


Candy, L. (2006). Practice based research: A guide. Creativity & Cognition Studios.
PRAGUK (n.d.). Methodology. PRAGUK.
Skains, R. L. (2018). Creative practice as research: Discourse on methodology. Media Practice and Education19(1), 82-97.

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

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