Volume 10 Issue 2 (2014): Giving Back in Field Research
Giving Back Through Collaboration in Practice

Giving Back Through Collaborative Research: Towards a Practice of Dynamic Reciprocity

Sibyl Wentz Diver
University of California, Berkeley
Margot Natalie Higgins
PhD Candidate Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
Published July 1, 2014
  • community-based participatory research,
  • feminist research,
  • reciprocity,
  • reflexivity


In this thematic section, contributors critically examine their attempts to put community engaged scholarship into practice as a means of giving back. In this form of research practice, informants become community research partners, who work with academic researchers to co-create research questions, protocols, and outcomes. Following participatory and feminist research principles, the authors in this section describe their work balancing research and action, as part of a broader social change project. The authors also discuss their efforts to generate more even power dynamics in their research collaborations with marginalized communities, and the challenges that arise in doing so. As community engaged scholars, the authors find the research process to be as important as, and interconnected to, their research products. Thus, the collaborative research process becomes an ongoing and dynamic form of giving back in itself.