Updated Guidelines for Peer Reviewing Community Based Research

The URBAN scholar-activist network’s publications committee has drafted guidelines to aid editors and reviewers of sociological journals and conference papers in assessing community- based research submissions. The guidelines are also intended to support community-based researchers who are presenting studies for critical reviews.  Please send your thoughts and questions to

Check out the relevant documents below!

Executive Summary

Full Guidelines

URBAN Sessions at ASA and SSSP

The URBAN scholar-activist network’s publications committee has drafted guidelines to aid editors and reviewers of sociological journals and conference papers in assessing community- based research submissions. The guidelines are also intended to support community-based researchers who are presenting studies for critical reviews. Members of the URBAN publications committee will present these guidelines for discussion at multiple events at the 2015 meeting of the American Sociological Association from August 22-25 as well as at the 2015 meeting of the Society for the Study of Social Problems from August 21-23.  Both conferences will be held in Chicago, IL.  The Chairs of the Boston and Los Angeles URBAN nodes are speakers in several of the sessions at ASA.  Stop by to learn more and get involved with URBAN at the local level!

A full schedule of sessions planned for the ASA annual meeting can be accessed here!

Ethics Working Group Conference Video

The video below features Ethics Working Group members Ron Glass, Sheeva Sabati, and Joyce King.  It serves as a companion to the graphic visualization that was created during the Ethics working group session at the National URBAN conference held April 30-May 1, 2015.  Learn more about the conference and access the full set of working group graphic visualizations here!

Ethics Working Group Video ImageClick here to play the video!


EJOR Call for Community OR Papers

This announcement is for a special issue of the European Journal of Operational Research (EJOR), to be co-edited by Michael Johnson, member of the Boston node of URBAN, and his UK colleague Gerald Midgley. Gerald has more than 20 years research experience in community-engaged applications of operations research/management science; Michael has more recently adapted UK notions of community OR to the American OR context.  They have each edited books on Community OR that have consolidated and promoted the field on their own sides of the Atlantic (Midgley and Ochoa-Arias, 2004; Johnson, 2012). Their collaboration on editing this special issue marks a desire, not only to share learning across the USA and Europe, but also to form a truly global research community, showcasing a wide range of international innovations and applications. Continue reading

Boston Olympic Bid Event

On Thursday, July 16, URBAN Boston, in conjunction with the NAACP, hosted an event called “The Boston Olympic Bid, Communities of Color, and the Future of Our City.”  The event was held at Freedom House in Dorchester, MA.

Planning for and hosting the Olympic games in Boston will have huge implications for the future of the city. The NAACP and URBAN Boston want to ensure that all of the city’s residents have the opportunity to meaningfully influence the planning process and ensure that the Olympic bid benefits all Bostonians.  Event participants shared their perspectives on what they think has been missing from the public conversation about a potential Boston Olympics, learned about an opportunity to participate in community-based research about the Boston bid in partnership with researchers, community groups, and residents, and explored how community groups in other cities have organized to influence the Olympic bid process. Continue reading

Highlights from National URBAN Conference

On April 30th and May 1st, the first national URBAN gathering took place at UMASS Boston. Forty-five scholars from across the country gathered for a 2-day working conference on “Collaborative Research for Equity and Action in Education.” Funded by a grant from the American Educational Research Association, the conference was designed to bring together scholars who practice different forms of action research to share lessons, identify commonalities and clarify differences in this diverse research tradition. According to Mark Warren, “the URBAN conference came at the right time. Scholars are increasingly looking for ways for their research to be more relevant to addressing pressing needs facing urban communities. Participants left with a stronger understanding of the ways that research can work together with community change agents in support of equity and social justice goals.” Continue reading

Collaborative Research Seed Grants

With the generous support of the Edward W. Hazen Foundation (a private foundation which is committed to supporting organizing and leadership of young people and communities of color in dismantling structural inequity based on race and class), URBAN.Boston is pleased to announce the availability of seed funding to help incubate an education-related collaborative research project spanning July 2015 to November 2015. Specifically, the seed grant award is to be used for (1) the development of a new collaborative research proposal or (2) the development of a new phase of an existing collaborative research project.  The award will be up to $1,000 and must be used for the planning of a collaborative research project (that may or may not be submitted elsewhere for funding); funds are not intended for the execution of collaborative research.  Funding can be used for meeting expenses, consultant fees (e.g., grant writer, facilitator), transportation, stipends for community volunteers, data collection for pilot studies, and/or other non-personnel expenses.  The funding may not be used for salaries or fringe benefits.

Proposals are due by 5pm on May 29, 2015.  Click here to download full application instructions.

Collaborative Research Conference

The Urban Research Based Action Network (URBAN) has received a grant from the American Educational Research Association to host a conference on “Collaborative Research for Action and Equity in Education.” This invitation-only, working conference will be held April 30th – May 1st at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Prior to the conference, five working groups are preparing presentations and materials to be discussed “workshop-style” with other conference participants. The five working groups will focus on Advocacy, Neutrality and Collaborative, Equity-oriented Research; Practices of Collaborative Research; Critical Participatory Policy/Organizing Working Group; Ethical Issues in Collaborative Social Science Research; and Institutional Supports for Collaborative Research. After the conference, the products from each working group will be compiled into a cohesive format to share with the broader community.