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Abstract

This paper explores arts-based practice research from the perspective of a UK University. In this context, Practice Research is still fraught with complexity that can result in communication issues. It can be challenging to confidently share insights and developments with readers outside of one’s discipline. There can be an overwhelming feeling of having to justify the value of one’s practice and over-explain every element to underline its worth. But what does Practice Research offer us and how can we, in the Arts, effectively communicate this to the broader academic community and beyond? Is there really a difference between practice-based and practice-led research or are there other ways to describe and share what we (academic practitioners) are creating? This paper will draw on specific examples from UK institutions to see how various challenges of communication and justification have been addressed at PhD level, through national research audits of academic staff, which also include considerations of the university research environment. I will discuss examples of successful practice-based research outputs from the University of Portsmouth that were part of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), a National published research government audit of UK academic institutions. I will show examples of how visual practitioners have contextualized their research outputs so that they can be “effectively shared.”