In June 2020 the Greater Manchester Research Network hosted a special session about how COVID 19 impacts on its members’ experience of collecting data. The membership of the network comprises predominantly of qualitative researchers – many of whom will find their ability to collect data in the usual way severely constrained by the crisis. Many felt that the situation highlights the very issues that always play a role in designing research, e.g. ethical issues, sampling bias and inclusivity. Although the issues are the same, different data collection methods will have different implications on how these are addressed. For example, whereas conducting research online may make it more inclusive for some, because it means that they do not have to travel to participate, it could present significant barriers for others, particularly if they do not have the necessary equipment or skills.
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