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Co-research is a form of participatory research. Many researchers use the term to indicate an aspiration or intention to involve children throughout all stages of the research process, from designing the research questions, data collection and analysis, through to dissemination. Therefore, in co-research, children are not just study participants or ‘subjects’ but are co-investigators involved in co-designing the study and co-producing the knowledge arising from it. A critical distinction is whether the ‘co-researcher’ has influence over key research decisions.

Commonly, child co-researchers take on a ‘young researcher’ role, typically involving them in gathering data from other young people. When these ‘young researchers’ undertake interviews or lead focus groups with other children and young people, the term ‘peer research’ is also sometimes used. This term alludes to relations between the children as significant, while ‘co-researcher’ signals the need for close attention to power relations between the child-researcher and the adults they are collaborating with in co-producing knowledge.

Related Terms:
Peer research,
Participatory research,
Children’s advisory groups,
Child-led research

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