Table of Contents
Surprisingly or not, scientists are beginning to see the benefits of creative research techniques, especially in the framework of social sciences, due to a more ethical attitude in decision-making. After all, creativity and the study and advancement of science, more often than not, go hand in hand.
Creative Research Method Definition
In creative research, the researcher is allowed to include his/her creative practice (the use of imagination and original ideas), creative methods and/or creative output in research or as part of the research output.
A century ago, research was considered a neutral activity, apart from the general society, with the researcher locked in his or her lab, and seen as having no influence or effect whatsoever in his or her own research process. More recently, deep reflections about art-based research methods led to a turning point in research methodologies, in which scientists are more open to question themselves about the “old ways” and often challenge themselves to discover alternative ways to achieve results.
It is becoming clearer and clearer every day that creative research methods can help answer complex contemporary questions that conventional methods alone no longer can. The mainstream thought among today’s scientists is that research methods should be those that most likely will help to provide an answer to the big question, rather than compromising to perpetuate an existing idea. Although new methods may seem very tempting to try out, one must always consider if there is a more conventional one that would serve the research better.
Creative Research and Scientific Research Techniques
Although the below table is hardly comprehensive, it might help to delineate differences between conventional and more creative research techniques.
|Creative research||Scientific Research|
|Community||More open to the general community during all phases of research.||More reserved to established institutions and therefore more invisible to general communities.|
|Nature||Contextual constructed.||Observation oriented.|
|Technology||Normally used as form of expression or medium.||Normally used as tool/instrument for observation.|
Arts-based methods in research can really help you sky-rocket visibility rates among various science communities. For example, today it is possible to submit video abstracts as part of your submission process. This is an effective way to share the core message of your research while maximizing visibility, curiosity and interest in it. Also, gathering data through arts-based methods (drawing, storytelling, photography, singing, drama, etc.) can benefit your research when dealing with special groups of people, like children, disabled persons, or people that don’t speak the same language as you.
Although the concept of creativity is generally believed to be associated with more libertarian kinds of human activities, like the visual arts, music, performance, theater, etc., it is also true that creativity in research is tied to constraints that every researcher eventually faces; budget, bureaucracy, regulations, time constraints and, eventually, courage. If you intend to involve creative thinking in your research, expect some frustrations regarding normal constraints, similar to conventional research, but also the possibility of poor acceptance of your methods within the science community, for example.
Other challenges you face might be constructing a manuscript based on methods never tried before, having no prior references, or even putting up an innovative way to present your findings, resembling the novelty of the research method itself. With Elsevier, you can find excellent text editing services that will help you achieve the text quality you need for a successful submission in a journal. Our language professionals are familiar with specialized vocabulary and our illustrators are up to date with new forms of presenting scientific data, as novel as they might be.
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