About Action Research

Flowchart depicting the Action Research Model as applied to gun violence prevention.

View a larger image or read through each step.

Action research is a method in which researchers engage in an active partnership with practitioner agencies to solve a problem. As former NIJ program manager Lois Mock and her co-authors described in a 2010 article,[1] the researchers play a key role in identifying the problem, analyzing the data and then working with the practitioner agency to develop strategies to target the problem. The practitioner agency implements the strategies, and the researchers monitor progress and provide feedback to help refine the strategies. Finally, the researchers assess the implementation of the problem-solving strategies and their impacts.


[1] Mock, Lois Felson, "Action Research for Crime Control and Prevention," in The New Criminal Justice: American Communities and the Changing World of Crime Control, John M. Klofas, Natalie Kroovand Hipple and Edmund F. McGarrell, eds., New York: Routledge, 2010: 97-102.

Date Created: June 18, 2012