Practice-based arts research in repositories: how do we better engage with researchers to capture, manage and enable discoverability of this research?
Repositories have historically focused on supporting traditional text-based outputs in STEM areas, capturing and making individual research publications openly available, and more recently the underpinning datasets. Funder policies focus on these outputs, resulting in greater awareness and usage of repositories amongst STEM researchers.
Practice-based arts research tends to be in non-text formats, and is often part of a wider, changing portfolio of work (including the original artefact and related documentation), elements of which may be captured in a publications repository, with associated documentation held in a data repository. This has often led to fractured discussions: those on open access take place in different forums to those on research data; and different teams may support these areas, including libraries, archives and research offices.
Much work has been done to customise repositories to more effectively capture this research. However, barriers to effectively engage with this community remain. Specific functionality requirements and issues include: records that enable open metadata and closed files; portfolios representing a changing body of work need updating over time; issues with file sizes and types, image quality and video streaming; restrictions imposed by repository software architecture, and interoperability with CRIS systems; and concerns with intellectual property rights and copyright.