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‘Traditional’ research with people with learning disability is very much research on rather than research with people. New models or paradigms of research place the ‘subjects’ of research in control of the research process as ‘co-researchers’. Applying new paradigms to research with people with learning disability yields benefits, but there are a number of limitations, both practical and theoretical, which limit their value. The editorial seeks to outline the main ideas behind ‘new paradigm’ research, and to introduce some of the issues which it raises for research with people with learning disability.