In this week’s ‘A year in the life of an academic writer’ series,  Policy Press author and independent researcher Helen Kara has some big news that simply cannot wait…

Helen KaraI know I promised to write about reviewers’ comments this week. But I’m afraid that will have to wait, because I have news so exciting that I must tell you NOW.

As regular readers will know, my next book is called Creative Research Methods for the Social Sciences. In the literature, and in practice, ‘creative’ is often conflated with ‘arts-based’. Arts-based research can indeed be very creative, but there is more to creative research than arts-based methods.

In the course of reading for and writing this book, I have re-conceptualised creative research methods under four broad headings:

1. Arts-based research
2. Research using technology
3. Mixed method research
4. Transformative research frameworks (e.g. participatory, emancipatory, feminist, decolonising methodologies)

Of course these headings are not mutually exclusive. However, this conceptualisation offers a useful way of thinking and talking about the field of creative research methods. And this was one aspect of the book that the typescript reviewers loved.

In the 2000s, I went several times to an international three-day conference on qualitative research methods held every two years at Bournemouth University, which featured many creative methods. These conferences stopped happening after 2010; I don’t know why; they were inspiring, and I miss them. So I began to wonder: could I launch my book with a conference on creative research methods? Probably not an international three-day conference, but maybe a day?

Save the Date! British Library Conference Centre in London on 8 May 2015

Date for the diary: British Library Conference Centre in London on 8 May 2015

So for the last couple of months I’ve been asking people whether they thought this would be possible, and whether they could help. And they have all said ‘yes’. So it’s official! A conference on Creative Research Methods in the Social Sciences will be held at the British Library Conference Centre in London on 8 May 2015. You won’t be able to book a place until early November, but I’m telling you about this now because the call for papers has just been publicised. So if you want to send in an abstract, please do – or if you know someone who might be interested, please pass on the link.

And if you fancy coming along, do put the date in your diary. We’ve done all we can to keep ticket prices low. If you can’t make it, you can always read the report I will no doubt be writing for this blog. But I do hope you can come – I’d love to see you!

Whilst Helen is, unsurprisingly, bursting with creative ideas to share with you on the blog, Policy Press are currently reviewing the autumn programme of blogs and will therefore be reducing Helen’s slot to once a fortnight.  Whilst you wait for the next instalment however why not browse some of Helen’s previous blogs below:

That difficult second research book

Three compromises you have to make when writing a book

How much pre-writing research do you have to do?

Where does a book begin?

What, another blog on academic writing?!!!

A year in the life of an academic writer: About Helen Kara

And some books by the same author:

Research and evaluation for busy practitioners

Policy Press bytes

The views and opinions expressed on this blog site are solely those of the original blogpost authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Policy Press and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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