CPANDALiterature Database Methodology

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What is the Literature Database?

CPANDA's Literature Database is an on-line, searchable bibliographic database of selected monographs, serials, reports, papers, proceedings, articles and books relevant to arts and cultural policy studies. It is primarily, but not exclusively, focused on methodologically rigorous, policy-relevant literature with a strong emphasis on empirical data collected on culture and the arts.

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What is the goal of the Literature Database?

The goal of the Literature Database is to identify empirical data in the field of cultural policy and the arts research and to make bibliographic information about these items easily accessible to researchers, policy makers and practitioners. As such it is a resource intended to facilitate scholarship, reduce the costs associated with research and provide policy makers and practitioners with critical information necessary to make decisions in the arts and culture.

Furthermore, since CPANDA's central role is as a repository of empirical data sets on culture and the arts, the Literature Database is designed to be a "companion" resource by collecting bibliographic citations for materials derived from or otherwise related to the specific datasets held by the archive. As such it provides researchers and practitioners with an important overview of how information in these data sets has been used.

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Search Methodology for Creating the Literature Database

The search methodology was guided foremost by the goal of collecting bibliographic citations for as many monographs, serials, reports, books, proceedings, articles and papers as possible that relate to empirical data on culture and the arts - especially those that correspond to existing or forthcoming CPANDA datasets. To ensure rigorous and relevant literature, a majority of the bibliographic citations were included if they met the following criteria:

  • Empirical research (primarily survey): uses data drawn from observation or experience - not strictly descriptive or speculative
  • Academic interest: uses material based on scientific research and methods
  • Policy-relevant: uses material relevant to the current understanding and topics of arts and culture including - art forms, artist, organizations, education and training, social and legal issues, economics, media coverage, participation, public attitudes and venues
  • Unbiased: excluding strongly slanted advocacy

It should be noted that bibliographic citations do fall outside the criteria described above. This was the case when the particular literature and materials were deemed as influential in the field of arts research and cultural policy or important to the knowledge pool of a specific discipline

The Literature Database further limits bibliographic citations to specific time and geographic parameters:

  • While the focus is on the United States, select materials covering cultural and arts policy from other countries is included.

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Continuing Bibliographic Search Process for the Literature Database

We commenced the search process by thoroughly examining existing arts and culture bibliographies created by other organizations. Although these assorted bibliographies were created with various underlying assumptions, different constituencies and encompassing disparate goals they served as a valuable starting point.

Each of these bibliographies, listed below, was systematically reviewed for citations which fell within the parameters of the Literature Database. When and where possible the actual literature and materials were evaluated by CPANDA staff.

  • Compendium of Information on the Arts (RAND and Pew Charitable Trusts)
  • The National Arts Policy Database (Americans for the Arts)
  • Center for Arts and Culture Bibliography (affiliated with George Mason University)
  • Research about Artists Bibliography (Research Center for Arts and Culture, Columbia University)
  • Research Division Notes and Research Division Reports (National Endowment for the Arts)
  • Educational Resources Information Center [ERIC] (U.S. Department of Education)
  • Literature of the Nonprofit Sector (The Foundation Center)

The search process relied heavily on academic and scholarly journals especially those that are considered the "core" arts research and cultural policy publications. The journals listed below were reviewed and relevant articles examined.

  • Journal of Arts Management and Law [Journal of Arts Management, Law (and Society)]
  • Journal of Cultural Economics
  • Poetics
  • International Journal of Cultural Policy
  • Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal

Other academic journals in the fields of economics, sociology, political science, communications and non-profit management periodically contain relevant material in arts and culture and relevant articles are incorporated in the Literature Database.

Throughout the search process considerable effort was spent exploring web-sites of arts and cultural organizations, arts service organizations, arts research centers, and public agencies involved in the arts in order to discover any unique or new information. A brief list of the most important sites is listed below.

Academic Centers

  • Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, Princeton University
  • Center for Arts Policy, Columbia College, Chicago
  • Research Center for Arts and Culture, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Bolz Center for Arts Administration, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Center for Arts and Culture, affiliated with George Mason University
  • Cultural and Arts Policy Research Institute, Northeastern University
  • Arts Management Research Clearinghouse, University of Oregon
  • Cultural Policy Center, University of Chicago
  • Social Impact of the Arts Project, University of Pennsylvania
  • The Privatization of Culture Project, New York University

Nonprofit Organizations

  • American Arts Alliance
  • American Symphony Orchestra League
  • Americans for the Arts
  • Association of Arts Administration Educators
  • Association of Performing Arts Presenters
  • Center for Arts and Culture
  • Chamber Music America
  • Dance/USA
  • Ford Foundation
  • The Foundation Center
  • The Independent Sector
  • John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
  • National Art Education Association
  • National Arts Journalism Program
  • National Arts Strategies
  • National Assembly of State Arts Agencies
  • National Center for Charitable Statistics
  • OPERA America
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Theatre Communications Group
  • Urban Institute
  • The Wallace Foundation

Government Organizations (U.S.)

  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • National Center for Education Statistics

The search process used several catalogs and online databases available at the Princeton University Library. The catalogs and databases were used for subject searches (artists, arts participation, arts audiences, arts organizations, support for the arts, art education) and to verify specific information and documentation. The catalogs and on-line databases used include, but are not limited, to:

  • Econlit
  • Proquest Statistical Insight
  • Library of Congress Catalog
  • WorldCat (United Catalog of Online Computer Library Center)

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Limitations of CPANDA's Literature Database

Whenever possible the selected monographs, serials, reports, papers, proceedings, articles and books included in the Literature Database were examined for accuracy, content and rigor. However, in some instances, materials were not easily accessible due to a host of circumstances. In these cases materials were judged on the basis of their influence in the arts and cultural policy field and bibliographic information was cross-referenced to maintain accuracy.

Arts and cultural literature and related empirical data are extended across a range of local and regional organizations and agencies. Much of the time articles, reports, papers, serials and empirical data produced by these organizations are either not widely distributed or publicized and somewhat invisible, or employ research methodologies that are questionable or poorly documented. Therefore, CPANDA's Literature Database may lack local and regional materials.

The Literature Database represents a comprehensive bibliographic database and serves as a beginning point for empirical research on arts and cultural policy issues. Moreover, the Literature Database offers a key resource of precisely how archived CPANDA data have been used. That said, it must be acknowledged that no database can hope to be exhaustive, especially given the dynamic nature of the arts and cultural policy studies and on-going research and data collection in the field. The Literature Database should be considered a continuous work in progress with materials being updated and emerging literature and corresponding empirical data documented.

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