Online repository

Online repository


The online repository will be the database of relevant documentation reflecting the state of the art of social impacts studies in the field of cultural policy in the EU. It is the result of the collection, selection and analysis of pertinent literature covering all the three project dimensions: Health and Wellbeing, Urban and Territorial Renovation, People’s Engagement and Participation. It includes a wide array of resources, ranging from academic literature to case studies, project reports, policy briefs, etc. The online repository is instrumental for the identification of the most appropriate impact transmission variables and indicators and for analysing what have been the critical success factors in determining the final outcomes of the selected transition pathway.

Link to the online repository

The main purpose of the exercise of collecting the most relevant literature on social impacts of cultural policy is to answer the following research question: “What is the state of the art in terms of literature and documentation produced on the topic of social impacts of cultural policy?”.

The approach for conducting the collection and analysis of literature to be included in the online repository follows a 4-step process. The distinct phases to build the online document repository are illustrated in the table below.

Table 1: The four phases of the literature repository.


Purpose: To answer the research question (What do we know about social impacts of cultural policy?)

Protocol: Framework defined by the DoA: 10 cultural domains identified by the EUROSTAT ESSnet-Culture report + 3 crossover themes of the European Agenda for Culture


Practical screen: To define selection criteria (e.g. type of documents, language, etc.)

Search for literature: Mixed approach: Protocol driven via databases (e.g. WoS, Scopus) + Snowballing (references and citation tracking) + Research team knowledge (Greenhalgh and Peacock, 2005: e.g. known to team, sources from within personal network)


Quality criteria: Identification of relevant literature on “social impacts of cultural policy” through selection of inclusion/exclusion criteria.

Appraisal: Internal appraisal among research partners


Classification: Classify the literature according to most relevant key variables: crossover theme; cultural sector; year of publication…

Writing of document sheets

The second collection of documents for the online repository at November 2021, resulted in the selection and analysis of 644 documents.


The first interesting data to highlight is related to the evolution of the publication of scientific documents through the years by cross-over theme, using the new statistical functionalities introduced in the online repository. This analysis shows an increase in the production of documents in recent years. In particular, from 2011 onwards, it may be highlighted an increase in the number of scientific publications on the topics of Health and Well Being and People's Engagement and participation. It is noteworthy that the number of publications in the cross-over theme of Health and Well Being increased from 54 publications in the 2011-2015 period to 202 publications in the 2016-2020 period, demonstrating an emerging interest towards this social dimension (Figure 1).


Figure 1

Figure 1: Documents per year and cross-over theme


Another important variable to analyse is the distribution of the three cross-over themes of the MESOC project (Health and WellBeing, People’s Engagement and Participation, Urban and Territorial Renovation) in the selected literature. As highlighted in Figure 2, the literature on Health and Wellbeing seems to be prevailing (44%), followed by documents on the topic of People’s Engagement and Participation (29%) and Urban and Territorial Renovation (18%).


Figure 2

Figure 2: Documents per cross-over theme.


In terms of the analysis of documents by cultural sectors, Figure 3 represents the percentage distribution of the 10 cultural domains identified by the ESSnet-Culture report from EUROSTAT. The most represented cultural sector in the sample is performing arts (24%), followed by heritage (14%), visual arts (13%), audiovisual and multimedia, and architecture (8%) respectively, while documents covering a General Cultural dimension represents 11% of the total. In this graph, the hypothesis that there are cultural sectors that have been little studied by academics seems to be confirmed: cultural sectors such as advertising and archives represent only 2% and 3% of total collected documents (Figure 3).


Figure 3

Figure 3: Documents per cultural sector.