Co-produced research is said to create new knowledge through including the perspectives of those traditionally excluded from knowledge-production, which in turn is expected to enhance research quality and impact. This article critically examines academic and UK voluntary sector literature concerning participatory and co-produced approaches to explore how quality is currently understood in co-produced research. Drawing on Early Career Researchers’ experiences of a programme of co-produced research, the authors illustrate how theory and practice of co-production can differ, and the implications for conceptualising ‘research quality’ within co-produced research. Drawing on debates within qualitative research, community work and policy studies, the article outlines a potential framework for raising questions of ‘quality’, co-produced by research partners as part of the research process. Key dimensions of this framework are process, outcomes and autonomy.
- collaborative research
- community-university partnership
- participatory research
- early career researchers