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Prog Community Health Partnersh. 2008 Spring;2(1):73-9. doi: 10.1353/cpr.2008.0001.

Knowledge profiling as emergent theory in community-based participatory research.

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Canadian IPY Secretariat, University of Alberta, Canada.



Many sources of valid knowledge may be relevant to a research question. Communities need a mechanism to explore the full range of knowledge that could enrich community-based research. A knowledge profile (KP) is an integrated description of the knowledge and expertise that, once assembled, can help to explore a research issue.


This article describes the establishment of a KP as a purposive process whereby the initial research team identifies the kinds of knowledge that can help to articulate and refine a research question, and assemble the right research team and resources.


The KP process is conducted by a core team, which may expand to include additional expertise. The four phases of a KP are (1) creating the research space, (2) articulating and negotiating, (3) identifying the research question, and (4) creating the resource inventory. The process is illustrated by a case study. The outcomes of a successful KP include an inventory of existing and required resources, a strong research team operating in an ethical and safe research space, and clear articulation of the research question. The KP can be revisited regularly throughout a project to evaluate the effectiveness of the research team.


KP provides a road map for community-based research teams to navigate through the early phase of research development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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