Community-based Research

Community based research is research that strives to be:

Community situated - begins with a research topic of practical relevance to the community (as opposed to individual scholars) and is carried out in community settings.

Collaborative - community members and researchers equitably share control of the research agenda through active and reciprocal involvement in the research design, implementation and dissemination.

Action-oriented - the process and results are useful to community members in making positive social change and to promote social equity.

Hallmarks of community based research

  • The relevance of the research topic is identified or verified by community members.
  • The resources of research (financial, expertise, etc.) are shared with community members, particularly those most affected by the research topic.
  • The research process recognizes and utilizes the expertise that community members have.
  • The research process recognizes and addresses power imbalances between researchers and community members.
  • The research process is driven by values, including: empowerment, supportive relationships, social change, learning as an ongoing process and respect for diversity.
  • The research process and results are accessible and understandable to community members.
  • The research process and results consider and adapt to the context in which the research is conducted.
  • The research leaves a legacy, both in terms of the utilization of research results, as well as in the future collaboration among partners.

* Definition from the Centre for Community Based Research

Community-based research (CBR) is guided by three principles:
* CBR is a collaborative enterprise between academic researchers (professors and students) and community members.
* CBR validates multiple sources of knowledge and promotes the use of multiple methods of discovery and of dissemination of the knowledge produced.
* CBR has as its goal social action and social change for the purpose of achieving social justice.
(Strand, Marullo, Cutforth, Stoecker and Donohue, Community-Based Research: Principles for Higher Education, May 2003)

Community-based research is a collaborative process between academic researchers and community members that aims to generate social action and social change through the use of multiple knowledge sources and research methods. Ideally, the research question should originate from the community and the process should allow for meaningful participation by community partners at all levels of research.

Undergraduate Community-Based Action Research

Community-Based Research in Urban Settings

Community-Campus Partnerships for Health - Contains, reports, examples, articles, syllabi, course materials, etc. concerning community-based research in the health field.