Step 3: Conducting Research

Conducting research focuses on data collection with the methods chosen based on the previous phases of research preparation and co-design.

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In this step, the research has a well-identified structure with the procedures, roles, and responsibilities co-designed, negotiated, and communicated among academic and citizen researchers. Here, it is important to break down the general research topic and questions into sub-questions that are applicable and contextual. Additional training on research methods should be planned for the community experts to ensure “healthy” data, that is complete, accurate, ethical, and scientifically rigorous. In a citizen social science project, conducting resarch is also the step when scientific partners monitor the progress of activities to achieve action-related project goals (and to ensure that scientific standards for rigour are met). Conducting research is a collaborative process of (re)negotiating the further course of research, resolving pitfalls and disputes. A continued conversation on participation, ethics and co-evaluation among community and scientific research partners is key to align the research process to the different perspectives and interests of all involved stakeholders. Step 3 Conducting research should address the following questions: Are chosen methods of inquiry adequate to answer the research question? Are the reserach instruments developed according scientifc standards? Is data gathering complete? Are there any new, emergent needs for additional data? Do the ethical procedures and strategies of the project represent the needs and requirements of data collection?