On a national level The Australian Council for University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS) is uniquely placed to play a role in improving outcomes for Field of Research codes 19 and 12 (Studies in Creative Arts and Writing and Built Environment and Design respectively) in the next Australian Research Council's Engagement and Impact Assessment round in 2024 (EI 2024).
There are two significant factors that combine to undermine creative outputs being classified as new research internally in many Australian universities. Firstly, creative academics use a complex range of research methodologies to produce new research. This diversity and complexity of new research production methodologies is often misunderstood even between creative academics from the same discipline. Secondly, short term contracts offered to humanities research management staff adds to staff turn-over, often resulting in creative academics having to explain, again, to well-meaning research staff why their creative outputs are new research. These two issues, complexity of creative research methodologies and research staff turn-over, can result in creative academics feeling undervalued and sometimes under siege.
This short article provides definitions and offers practical solutions for creative arts research to be counted alongside more traditional university disciplines in the Australian Research Council's Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) research evaluation framework.