Tensions have been identified in the shift to dialogue, whereby researchers produce and communicate research-based
knowledge in interaction with different social actors. This paper draws on three perspectives on those tensions - science and technology studies analyses of public engagement, action research and dialogic communication theory - in order to explore how the tensions are articulated in the communication processes that are integral to the co-production of knowledge in a case-study of collaborative research about virtual worlds. The data analysed are based on the workshops where the collaborating actors (university researchers and practitioners) co-produce knowledge through communication processes in which different expert-identities and knowledge forms are negotiated. The analysis explores the balancing-act between imposing control on the research process and opening up for a plurality of voices. The paper concludes with a discussion of the value of a reflexive approach for the analysis and design of dialogic research communication.