Assessing research and involving people using health and social care services: Addressing the tensions

Karen Postle, Peter Beresford, Sally Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In the UK context, the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) has been developed as a means of evaluating research performance. This reflects a growing international interest in such evaluation. This article explores emerging tensions between such external review processes and increasing interest in, and efforts to conduct, participatory and emancipatory research in fields such as nursing and social work. We argue that the pressure from such demands, and the resulting outcomes, risk undermining such research and efforts to develop more equal research relationships that can address power imbalances with people who use services. The article examines prevalent academic demands arising from responses to successive RAEs and briefly explores the rationale for participatory and emancipatory research approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-262
Number of pages12
JournalEvidence and Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2008


  • Research
  • Research assessment exercise
  • Service user involvement

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