Visitor perspectives on commenting in museums

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Commenting in museums is a well-established way to give visitors a
voice and encourage engagement with exhibition themes and with
the institution. Despite its many benefits, we know little about the
visitor perspective on commenting as current literature focuses
mainly on museum and technology perspectives. This paper
reports on a survey exploring visitors’ mental models,
expectations and preferences when submitting comments to a
museum. It briefly discusses related literature, describes the survey
methodology and presents findings structured into six themes,
including visitors’ (i) preferences for different commenting and
feedback mechanisms, (ii) interest in personal information about
comment authors, (iii) expectations on who reads submitted
comments, (iv) assumptions about comment moderation, (v)
views on the conservation of comments and (vi) opinions on
ownership and potential reuse of comments. The paper concludes
with a discussion of limitations and suggestions on how findings
might inform policies and practices around commenting in
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 484-505
JournalMuseum Management and Curatorship
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Museum Management and Curatorship on 20/09/2018, available online:


  • visitor-generated content
  • user-generated content
  • visitor comments
  • visitor interpretation
  • social interpretation
  • participation
  • content moderation
  • content ownership


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