Kip Jones

KIP JONES, an American by birth, has been studying and working in the UK for more than 20 years.
Under the umbrella term of 'arts-led research', his main efforts have involved developing tools
from the arts and humanities for use by social scientists in research and its impact on a wider
public or a Perfomative Social Science.

Jones was Reader in Performative Social Science and Qualitative Research at
Bournemouth University for 15 years.
He is now a Visiting Scholar and and an independent author and scholar.

Kip has produced films and written many articles for academic journals and authored chapters
for books on topics such as masculinity, ageing and rurality, and older LGBT citizens.
Jones' most recent work involves working with Generation Z youth to tell their stories using
social media.
His ground-breaking use of qualitative methods, including Auto-fiction, biography
and auto-ethnography, and the use of tools from the arts in social science research
and dissemination are well-known.

Jones acted as Author and Executive Producer of
the award-winning short film, RUFUS STONE, funded by Research Councils UK.
The film is now available for free viewing on the Internet
and has been viewed by more than 14,000 people in 150 countries.

Areas of expertise
• Close relationships, culture and ethnicity
• Social psychology, sociology
• Ageing, self and identity
• Interpersonal processes, personality,
individual differences,
social networks, prejudice and stereotyping
• Sexuality and sexual orientation
• Creativity and the use of the
arts in Social Science

Media experience
His work has been reported widely
in the media, including:
BBC Radio 4,BBC TV news,Times
Higher Education, Sunday New
York Times, International
and The Independent.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

"Abandon normal instruments!" The Blogosphere: creative solutions to reaching bigger audiences

How does blogging help to maximize impact and open up new opportunities to disseminate research? Rebecca Edwards asked Kip Jones for his comments on a recent blog about the HSC ReThink Project that was featured in the widely read and prestigious LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog. How do blogging and social networking raise the game for academics and how can others at BU benefit from Jones’ experience on these platforms?

BECCA: Why did you decide to write about HSC’s “Big ReThink Project” on a public forum?

KIP: Gail Thomas and I initially wrote up HSC’s “Big ReThink Project” as an academic paper. I then began by shopping it around to various journals, more than a year ago. Too many of us have had the experience, I am afraid, of no response at all or waiting for months and then having to ask for a response from a journal editor. Generally, the answer at that point is often to submit the article for review, but it will be yet another six months to a year until possible publication. This is no longer acceptable in the world of rapid, electronic communication today. Since our Project itself was about alternative approaches anyway, I asked Gail what she thought about putting it up on a blog instead; her reply, ‘Go for it!’

BECCA: How did you get the article published on the LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog?

KIP: Some time ago now, Mark Carrigan, who was then editor of the London School of Economics & Political Science Impact of Social Sciences blog, asked me to contribute to their ‘Five minutes with … series. This invitation came out of the blue, but I think it was because he was aware of our film, Rufus Stone, and had read and heard about it on the Internet.  I was also asked to participate on a panel at LSE in their Beyond the Book series of seminars around the same time. I kept in touch with Mark following the initial LSE blog publication through Twitter and his own personal blog. I think it is particularly important to develop and maintain relationships, even though they are often completely virtual ones. When Gail and I decided to find a blog to publish our piece, I asked Mark whom I should now contact at LSE, and he recommended Sierra Williams. I sent Sierra the Abstract. She responded that the article would indeed be of interest, but it needed to be shorter and a bit less formal in style, and with pictures if possible. I subsequently edited it down to about half its original length—keeping the inspirational bit, with less of the outcomes of the Project. It was published on 16 August as “Bournemouth’s ‘Big ReThink’ Project: An Arts-based Model for Change in a University”.

BECCA: What has been the reaction to your article being published on the LSE Impact Blog?
Who has responded to the article on social media channels?

KIP: In just the first few days since publication, it has received attention through Twitter and Facebook, with links to other sites through pingbacks, retweets, Likes, and Shares. The link was also circulated globally on The Weekly Qualitative Report site and e-newsletter. Early responses have been from scholars, particularly in the social sciences, arts and education, and the PhD student online community.

BECCA: More generally, why do you find blogging a useful engagement exercise? How does it strengthen your academic credentials?

KIP: In addition to making periodic contributions to the BU Research blog, I maintain two blogs of my own: Rufus Stone the movie and KIPWORLD.  The Rufus Stone blog was set up before the film was made, so it is a good repository of the story behind the research that went into making the film and the production of the film itself. Pages on the blog are now heavily externally linked in articles, books and on other websites.  These days, current contributions are more about dissemination, the film’s continuing impact and future plans for screenings and trainings using the film.  

KIPWORLD is my personal blog where I write about projects that I am working on, but I also use it to develop my writing. A good example is a piece entitled, “How Breakthroughs Come: Tenacity and Perseverance”. First written for the blog over six months ago, it was recently reworked and now includes some reader responses to the earlier version. Through a Twitter connection, it has just been published for a third time on the Social Research Hub, a site particularly aimed at PhD students in the Social Sciences.

The early development of the background story for Rufus Stone was also carried out on KIPWORLD. I have recently written about this particular deviation from more traditional academic prose in an article, ‘Infusing Biography with thePersonal: Writing Rufus Stone’ for Creative Approaches to Research, which published on the same day as the LSE blog and has kept me quite busy on Twitter!

I average about one blog article a month of around 1,000 words in length for KIPWORLD. These are definitely not more typical ‘off-the-cuff’ or ‘stream of consciousness’ blogs, however!  I pore over and rework these pieces, sometimes for days, even weeks.

We are very much in a transitional phase in academic publishing and dissemination, brought about by the Open Access debates, etc. The power balance between academics and publishers is shifting and it is a good time to assert our case for more control over our outputs, how (and when) they are published and how accessible they are. Using the alternative of diverse outlets through weblogs, (both personal and more established), contributes to the potential of different methods of reaching wider audiences with our work, having it seen and, eventually, making a difference.

I will end by adding that writing a blog post can be just a first step; this needs to be followed up by links through social media and additional outlets in order to generate reach and insure impact! The ReThink Project reminded us that initiative and individual excellence are nurtured in small communities that support independence and autonomy. A centralised vision of the few may produce followers, but not leaders, and certainly not innovators in my experience.

“Abandon normal instruments”—Brian Eno & Peter Schmidt, Oblique Strategies

'Obiquity' by John Kay from the School of Life: worth a listen!


ReThink blog Goes Viral 

Sunday, 8th Sept 2013 

In less than two weeks, a report on Bournemouth University's arts-based model for change, the Big ReThink Project has gone "viral", averaging 100 views a day in just its first 20 days. The blog appeared on London School of Economics and Political Science prestigious Social Science Impact Blog on 16 August.

The article highlights a large, long-term project addressing staff concerns in Bournemouth's School of Health & Social Care, written by Dr Kip Jones, Reader and Prof Gail Thomas, Dean of the School. The project used a unique arts-based approach to change management to engage staff in the process.

As of today, the ReThink Project is currently 5th in the list of the past month’s twenty most popular London School of Economics Impact Blog posts by readership. The current number of views as of today is at 3400+ and continuing to rise.

Links to the LSE blog were initially circulated internationally by The Qualitative Report and news groups such as Performative SocSci, Auto-ethnography, ArtNet, Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology, and Qualitative Research for the Human Sciences .

Pat Thomson, Professor in Arts Education, Creativity and Writing Research at the University of Nottingham then blogged her thoughts on the project on her own blog, Patter, commenting, "The process was not only novel but also seemed to me that it would be highly pleasurable to do".

The LSE blog has been highlighted on Active Learning in Higher Education and Creatively Teaching: Arts Education as well.

An article about the viral performance of the blog was published on the web-based Dorset Eye.

The ReThink blog was also highlighted on Sport Balla Trending News and repeated on Alpa Galileo media news.

Links to the Big ReThink blog have been circulating on many social media groups, including Twitter and Facebook and continue to raise interest in Bournemouth University's ReThink Project.
As of 7 October 2013, according to Google Analytics, the Bournemouth Big Rethink Project post has received 3,956 views.

Saturday, 17 August 2013



The recent four-year research project entitled, “Gay and Pleasant Land?—a study about positioning, ageing and gay life in rural South West England and Wales” took place as part of the Research Councils UK funded New Dynamics of Ageing Programme on ageing in 21st Century Britain. The key output of this effort was the short professionally made, award winning film, Rufus Stone. An article published in Creative Approaches to Research unpacks the evolution of creating the film script, with a particular emphasis on the author’s relationship with the biographies, the filmmaking process and, indeed, his own story.
writing Rufus
Through first person narrative and textural bricolage, Kip Jones recounts the processes that went into writing the background, treatment and working script for the film.  This included sifting through copious data, story meetings, writing back story and collaboration with the film’s director. In the final analysis, the author was dependent on auto-ethnography to bring the biographies of others to the screen.

Arts-based collaborative efforts require versatility and experimentation in approaches and a willingness to communicate across disciplines. Knowing when to ‘let go’ in partnerships is key to this process. The article responds to many of the issues, concerns and questions that have arisen at academic screenings of the film. It provides a valuable starting point for others interested in experimenting with arts-based dissemination of research findings. The originality of the use of auto-ethnography itself to report on this process is consistent with the principles of Performative Social Science, on which the project’s dissemination is based. 

"Infusing Biography with the Personal: Writing RUFUS STONE"

 Watch the film here: