Friday 19 December 2014

EXPERIENCE: Co-producing research...

Questioning co-production in human geography

In August I attended the Royal Geographical Society conference, themed 'Geographies of Co-production'.  I hadn't come across the term 'co-production' before and the conference included various interpretations of the term.  Its application largely centred around collaboration between people doing research and those being researched. 

It seemed that some applications of 'co-production' were more legitimate than others, which left me considering the appropriateness of the term and its potential pitfalls.  I wrote a blog post based on my thoughts, which can be found here.

Contributing to other research

As a researcher who relies on the generosity of my subjects, who give up their own time for my research, I am always keen to return the favour and contribute to other people's research.  This also provides an opportunity to become informed of what else is happening in the research community. 

My experiences have included:
  • A longitudinal study on my life as a PhD candidate with Angele Jones
  • A psychology study on the interaction between attractiveness to mates and physical health with Yong Zhi Foo
  • A linguistics study on variability in Western Australian-English with Sophie Richard
  • Taste testing of new chicken salt and dark chocolate for the UWA Centre for Forensic Science
  • A 3D face mapping study examining the process of facial aging with Paige Brooker
  • Many web-based surveys asking about my perceptions on my mood, my attitude towards public transport, my thoughts on services available etc.

There are countless opportunities to be involved in research - even if you don't want to undertake research yourself.  You can respond to surveys, contribute to web forums or be part of a citizen-science network or community group being researched.  Furthermore, almost everything you do - from voting, using social media, making purchases to catching public transport - generates data that is being researched by someone, somewhere!