Social researchers better prepared for new crises after COVID-19 pandemic, NCRM review finds

NCRM news
Ed Grover

NCRM has published a new rapid evidence review that synthesises how social researchers have adapted or designed research methods during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The authors concluded that researchers have found ways not just to get through a crisis, but to carry on over a prolonged period of disruption, better prepared for further contextual crises.

The team – Professor Melanie Nind, Dr Andy Coverdale and Dr Robert Meckin – focused on methods used in 138 papers published in 2021, adding findings to those produced by their review of 64 papers in 2020.

The new review states: "The evidence indicates that the impact of changes to the social world from Covid-19 on social research practices involves more than just the pivot to online methods.

"It includes: adapting recruitment processes, innovation in methods, designing for flexibility and speed and for research from people’s homes, coping with different impacts on different groups and the potential to miss engagement of some groups, and strengthening relationships with stakeholders and within research teams."

The review, Changing Social Research Practices in the Context of Covid-19: Updated Rapid Evidence Review – Synthesis of the 2021 Literature, was published as part of the Changing Research Practices project.

In addition to the review, the NCRM team will be publishing on the project in a substantive editorial in their special issue of International Journal of Social Research Methodology and delivering an NCRM course in October 2022.

Read the rapid evidence review