Data in Arts Research: A Conceptual View


Sutapa Patnaik


A distinguishing feature of arts scholarship is the dynamic human element. Arts researchers observe and interact in the natural world of the arts and record their impressions and experiences as data. As part of this process of intense story-telling around the data, arts scholars use a broad scheme of social inquiry to develop a sophisticated understanding of the existing information. This paper deals with the importance of the arts in research; and some of the issues associated with the arts and research. The arts help researchers in developing frameworks for collecting, documenting, analyzing and interpreting their impressions. So, the article stresses on the need for clarity on issues of methodology and methods that are used as the essential framework for investigation when conducting arts research. It is interesting to note that although data is fundamental to all scholarly pursuits, we often associate data with all disciplines for research but the arts. In reality, however, both the amount and range of data in the field of the arts are compelling experts to come up with new ways of managing them. This article examines some of the issues associated with arts research; and the ways in which data would be documented, protected, and made available for further use.