In: Given, Lisa M. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc., 2008. SAGE Research Methods. Web. doi: 10.4135/9781412963909. "Arts-based research is a form of qualitative research in the human studies that employs the premises, procedures, and principles of the arts. It is defined by the presence of aesthetic qualities (or design elements) within both the inquiry process and the research text. Therefore, arts-based research is quite different in many ways from traditional forms of research that are associated with the social sciences."
Knowles, J. G and Ardra L Cole. Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research: Perspectives, Methodologies, Examples, and Issues. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc., 2008. SAGE Research Methods. doi: 10.4135/9781452226545. "Art-based research can be defined as the systematic use of the artistic process, the actual making of artistic expressions in all of the different forms of the arts, as a primary way of understanding and examining experience by both researchers and the people that they involve in their studies." "Rather than just reflecting upon artistic phenomena in case studies, interviews, and other explanatory texts, students now ask if they can pursue the process of painting to learn more about a particular aspect of painting or elicit the creative imagination to let the characters in their expressions describe themselves and their experiences, and so forth. We are discovering how these art-based methods, making use of a larger spectrum of creative intelligence and communications, generate important information that often feels more accurate, original, and intelligent than more conventional descriptions."