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Having conducted a study in 2013, this article examines the effects of the developments of visitor research within the cultural sector in France and Spain. Today there is a great debate about audience-oriented policies and the responsibilities of cultural institutions towards its public (Caillet , 2007; Davallon 1992 ; Donnat, 2010 ; Tobelem, 2010); but, what is actually the role of public? How do we know them? How do we use visitor research data? In line with this debate, we have developed a comparative research program whose purpose is to analyse the consequences of visitors’ research as production of knowledge into contemporary art museums. Conducting visitor research becomes a way to approach public policies of social action - including democratizing access to contemporary culture (Eidelman, 2008) - but also to define the strategic planning of each cultural institution in a economical and touristic context.