Crowd-sourced document | Doing fieldwork in a pandemic | by Deborah Lupton

Perhaps a useful for some of us:

‘Isolation measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 means that social researchers who have for doing fieldwork in a pandemic – specifically, ideas for avoiding in-person interactions by using mediated forms that will achieve similar ends. 

Social research has been conducted online for many years, of course. There are many examples of using online survey tools or doing content analyses or ethnographies using existing online interactions as research materials. Interviews have been conducted by phone or Skype for a long time. This document was initially directed at ways for how to turn fieldwork that was initially planned as using face-to-face methods into a more ‘hands-off’ mode. However, people have added useful material about ‘born digital’ research (content already generated on the internet by online interactions), which provides an alternative source of social research materials if researchers decide to go down that path.’

Lupton, D. (editor) (2020) Doing fieldwork in a pandemic (crowd-sourced document). Available at:

NB: Deborah also curates a community Facebook page ‘Innovative Social Research Methods’ which may be of interest for those wanting to think about new and creative ways of doing social research: Innovative Social Research Methods Public Group

If you are interested in focusing on COVID-related topics (and let’s face it, we are all researching in a COVID-world now), see Deborah’s post on an initial research agenda for social research: Social Research for a COVID and Post-COVID World: An Initial Agenda.