Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Lawrence W. Green & Shawna L. Mercer
A great deal of concern has been raised in recent years about the fact that many research results receive only limited use in actual practice. Part of the reason for the chasm between research and practice is that those who are to be the beneficiaries and users of research often wonder whether research done under highly controlled conditions, in far away communities, and with populations different from their own is applicable to their particular needs and constraints. Most efforts to improve the research-to-practice problem are “downstream” in the research process, in that they attempt to secure interest and adoption among potential users after the research is done. In contrast, participatory research represents an “upstream” approach that involves actively engaging practitioners, policymakers, and others in the research process itself—so they can help ensure that the research will be relevant to their needs and can assist in interpreting and applying the results ...