Over the past few months, many researchers have found it necessary to change the way they collect data, specifically where face to face methods had been originally planned. The availability of online platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams has enabled methods such as interviews, focus groups and consensus planning to be carried out virtually in real time. Text based forums allow research participants to make contributions to a study at a time which suits them best. Whilst some may even have chosen to change their approach completely and moved to survey-based research.
This week, we discuss your thoughts on research participation using online formats that have seemingly increased in use over the past few months. We will discuss the benefits and challenges of taking part in research online and so help researchers to think about how experiences of being
research participants can be enhanced. Whether you are a researcher, a research participant yourself or an advocate for service users recruited to a study, we are interested in your thoughts on the methodological, practical and ethical issues raised when conducting or taking part in research online.
- Have you or your service users had experience of taking part in a study online, been invited
to take part in a study online, or as a researcher conducted a study online (either during the
pandemic or prior)?
- What do you think were the benefits from your experience? If you have not yet had the
opportunity to experience such a study, what do you think the advantages could be?
- As a study participant or a researcher, what were/are the potential practical challenges?
- Designing and carrying out research virtually requires consideration of ethical factors specific
to an online environment. What specific ethical considerations need to be made and if you
have been involved in an online study, how were these addressed?
- What can researchers do to encourage therapists and/or service users to participate in
online research and to make taking part in research online a positive experience?