Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research Vol. 9 No. 11 | Commentary

Advancing community-engaged research: increasing trustworthiness within community-academic partnerships


Trust is essential for community-academic research partnerships to improve public health. This has led to a commitment to engage patient or community members as partners. However, using a term like ‘patient or community partner’ in the context of community-engaged research does not by itself mean that communities will trust researchers.

Innovative initiatives and efforts to engage patients more meaningfully as partners in clinical and translational community-engaged research does help to build trust. Developing authentic community-academic partnerships is a desirable, yet often elusive goal. We hear from many underrepresented communities in research that the idealistic concept of true community-academic partnerships is replaced with a ‘check-the-box’ or tokenistic approach. The formation of a community-academic partnership may suggest that community partners trust researchers, but that does not mean that the researchers are viewed as trustworthy.

In this Commentary, authors from the University of Maryland Baltimore (MD, USA) discuss the importance of improving trustworthiness between community-academic research institutions partnerships, as well as potential means of achieving this.

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