Announcing the TRACE Platform!

Today marks the release of our new platform! We are delighted to show you what we’ve developed.

But first – for those of you who haven’t heard of us – we are the Research Centre for Transcultural Creativity and Education, usually referred to as TRACE. We are a university-wide research centre at Bath Spa University that investigates and maps creativity across cultures. Although, we are a small team, we represent a wider community of researchers. You can read more about us here.

Over the last year, we have consulted with other researchers, from undergraduates through to the libraries that support them, as well as senior academics and researchers with a large portfolio of published research. The aim was to figure out how we could best support them. Through this consultation process, one point kept re-emerging: researchers wanted help with writing.

But what kind of writing? Our Paper Nations project already handles creative writing in all its forms, but what about writing in the context of research? As we spoke to the various researchers, we realised most were familiar with the concept of  ‘writing up’ their work, in order to present it to a publisher or groups of people. But many people struggle with the motivation to start and continue writing throughout the year.

We believe that writing is an integral part of the research process – something that aids the entire exploration, rather than just the final stages. Yet many researchers weren’t sure how to employ writing throughout the research process, or what that would look like.

They asked for more writing retreats, a greater focus on working papers in research groups, and more guidance on the craft of writing. 

Many people pointed out that some support for writing is available but it’s not always visible. Staff and students said that they needed help promoting and finding opportunities to develop writing.

That’s why our platform focuses on connecting researchers to a community of support for their writing needs. Through this platform, we want to put the infrastructure in place so that researchers can find everything they need to build their writing skills, integrate them into their processes, and improve their research practice. We also plan to produce our own events in due course.

On the platform, you’ll find resources to help you connect to resources and researchers on our events calendar and interactive map, as well as video calling cards. We also offer documentation services for research events, and have several pages dedicated to our areas of expertise, such as Hypermedia Ethnography, and Transmedia Storytelling.

For the time being, our features are only open to staff and students at Bath Spa University but we plan to open these up to wider audiences across 2020 and beyond.

We hope this platform helps you in your research journeys.