Public harm or public value? Towards coproduction in research with communities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


This paper develops a critique of the current model of research governance ethics which casts communities as vulnerable subjects. The paper constructs an alternative approach to thinking about the twin challenges of research governance and reflexive research practice through reframing ideas of public value and rejecting a public harm model. We use the insights of coproduction as a way of positively rethinking the relationship between researchers and ‘the researched’ to create new ways of thinking about public value. We argue that reflexive research practice should draw upon the principles and examples of empowerment within governance. These aspire to work ‘with’ communities and create space for greater community control in defining and creating publically valuable research.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-565
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Government and Policy
Issue number3
Early online date26 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • research ethics, community, coproduction, empowerment, marginalisation, governance, public value