In this paper, a description of the patterns of research topic identification has been given and questions raised as to the value of student research topics. The case for extensions to the development of programmes of research was presented and it was argued that this was not only more realistic and educationally valuable in terms of student research training but that such programmes have the potential to make a direct contribution to the advance of research in art and design, both in national as well as institutional terms. The need for and the value of a coherent and comprehensive picture of research in all art and design disciplines was described and this was coupled with a report of proposed developments in the Index of British Studies in Art and Design Education. The international dimension of art and design research was discussed and importance was given to the need to make information about research endeavours in the UK available to the international research community. Some questions were raised as to the nature of reports of research in art and design and the extent to which they can be ‘publically accessible’.
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