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Collaborative research has much to offer nursing However, the collaborative research process is fraught with issues arising from the ‘politics of collaboration’ Such politics operate at the individual and institutional levels and can have debilitating effects on the research enterprise if they are not dealt with This paper explores what is meant by collaboration and the politics of collaboration Drawing on a critical perspective, it uses Brookfield's themes of impostorship, cultural suicide and road running as the theoretical framework for the analysis The paper uses an actual collaborative research project to ground the discussion provided