Cartoon by Don Mayne www.researchcartoons.com
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Are research subjects/participants a mystery to you? Do you struggle to understand why they participate, how they consider the benefits and how much they worry about the risks? Are you unsure whether they understand that recruitment and consent material? Perhaps you don’t know if they will understand your questionnaire/data collection tool, or how long it will take them to complete data collection.
The answer to these questions don’t need to be a mystery and you certainly shouldn’t need to go to a stageshow to answer these questions.
The above points are great reasons to use participant/consumer reference groups, or a co-researcher. Many researchers consider such an engagement as essential for quality research that will have impact.