Inferring a collective concept of research from the actions of the art and design research community | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1474-273X
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0896



This article examines output types as manifestations of different concepts of research. We compare the UK academic scene to that of Brazil, identifying the former as responding ‘bottom-up’ to researcher needs and the latter determining ‘top-down’ what researchers can do. Taking the UK model as indicative of what researchers think they need, we undertook a detailed analysis of the output types used in RAE2008 across all subjects in order to see which types were used and by whom. We also undertook a further analysis of the use of traditional, text-based formats in art and design, and the use of non-traditional, non-textual output types in other subjects. We conclude that both the journal format and the exhibition format are expressive of the understanding each community has of the meaning of research as an activity. This is further reinforced by the national structures within which research is undertaken and evaluated.


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