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Ethical ‘mess’ in co-produced research: Reflections from a U.K.- based case study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-242
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
Issue number2
Early online date28 Aug 2017
DateAccepted/In press - 26 Jul 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 28 Aug 2017
DatePublished (current) - 25 Aug 2018


Co-producing research is complex and messy. This paper draws on Tina Cook’s argument for the systematic inclusion of ‘mess’ in research accounts as a conceptual framework through which to articulate areas of ethical mess from within a co-produced research project. Through narrating the ‘messy’ ethical complications the paper illustrates a number of specific ethical risks when coproducing research; particularly when working with young people. The paper provides valuable insight into ethical tensions that can emerge when using a co-produced methodology and will be informative for future researchers negotiating their own co-produced research projects. The paper argues for the systematic inclusion of mess in the accounting of participatory research.

    Research areas

  • Co-production, Confidentiality, Data storage, Ethics, Intimate partner violence, Mess, Participatory research, Young people


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