How familiar are professionals with research in their field?

The Creative Industries are a broad and very diverse field; what do architect and fashion designers really have in common? It is for this reason that I have decided to focus my research on one of these more specific fields. As the recently established Event Lab of the Amsterdam Creative Industries Network is working hard to position itself in the festival and event sector, I have decided to investigate the preferences of professionals in this field when it comes to the distribution of valuable research information.

To do this, I interviewed several of these professionals, focussing on 1) their familiarity with research in their sector, 2) how and where they look for new information, and 3) their preferences with regards to the presentation and functionalities of the medium of publication. In this post I will explain some of my findings for the first and second topics.

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What you can see in the charts above is that most of the organisations were certain they didn’t use research to establish (for instance) which market their festival should serve before they started. At the same time they are quite open to the idea that research results could be useful to their organisation and indicate that there are different occasions in their professional reality where they take the time to search for and/or read research results. The specifics of this interaction with research results differs greatly between the organisations: some only search for the answer to specific questions, while others incorporate searching for new information and innovations into their weekly practice. Most interviewees say that they (would be willing to) pay in order to read relevant research results, but it should be noted that this mostly relates to a journalistic form rather than an academic one. However, the most common interaction with research is definitely working with interns to answer questions specific to the organisation, and very often with the goal of satisfying funders.

 

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Before talking to these professionals, I created a list of the different media that are used to distribute research results. Input for this list came from the researchers themselves, but also an investigation of additional avenues that are used for this purpose. During my conversations with professionals, I presented them with this list and asked them to list the ones they were familiar with and used for the purpose of keeping updated regarding innovation and new information on their sector.

The graph shows that, in terms of times mentioned, the professionals favour the web 2.0 / mail strategies as well as the physical meetups, rather than the more traditional academic and / or trade publishing strategies. This preference was further emphasised in the conversations in terms of frequency with which they are used. However, it is interesting to note that many professionals do point to other, specific, journalistic media that they read (very) frequently (such as 3voor12 and other music platforms) to keep up to date about new music. To find the professional where s/he is, it seems the research would also have to go there (although this might not fit within the focus of these platforms).

More findings will soon follow…

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