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A Systematic Review and Thematic Analysis of Community-Collaborative Approaches to Computing Research

Ned Cooper
Tiffanie Horne
Gillian Hayes
Jess Scon Holbrook
Lauren Wilcox
ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM CHI) 2022 (2022)


HCI researchers have been gradually shifting attention from individual users to communities when engaging in research, design, and system development. However, our field has yet to establish a cohesive, systematic understanding of the challenges, benefits, and commitments of community-collaborative approaches to research. We conducted a systematic review and thematic analysis of 47 computing research papers discussing participatory research with communities for the development of technological artifacts and systems, published over the last two decades. From this review, we identified seven themes associated with the evolution of a project: from establishing community partnerships to sustaining results. Our findings suggest several tensions characterize these projects, many of which relate to the power and position of researchers, and the computing research environment, relative to community partners. We discuss the implications of our findings and offer methodological proposals to guide HCI, and computing research more broadly, towards practices that center a community.