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You are hereon research in the museum context - sparked by Seb Chan's post on the update

on research in the museum context - sparked by Seb Chan's post on the update

thanks seb, for the rather nice write-up of the update podcast.

you've hit on one of the real problems of conducting research in the museum context -- the task of making what seems 'academic' relevant and useful. it's hard, in our project-driven culture, to step back from what we think we 'know' to see if there is any evidence for our prejudices. Lorcan Dempsey blogged about this not long ago, pleading for an 'evidence base' in library catalogue development.

we need research in order to do what we do better, but we can't have research for research's sake in a sector devoted to public service.

i've been thinking about this in the context of how we structure and report both the research agenda and its results. obviously, there's a need to distill the research rationale into something that's easily digestible to the professional. but doing that without dumbing down is a challenge. make it seem to easy and the need for the research gets lost; make it too applied, and the product takes the place of the questions and the research environment starts to look like an answer in itself.

as to broader applicability -- i'm hopeful that there will be a relevance beyond 'art' in the steve results. while the vocabulary analysis might be focused on art language, the questions of user motivation, and tagging environment are shared beyond 'art'; and the tools and methods are content-agnostic.


p.s. i started writing this as a comment over on fresh + new, but had a nasty encounter with a spam filter. it may or may not have been posted, and i didn't want to loose the thought...

jtrant's picture

Thisdid make it online at a fresh + new --> head over there.

[this is one of the things that gets under my skin about blogs /comments... the conversation is scattered all over the place!]


j. trant co-founder Museums and the Web | partner archives & museum informatics