Carrying out qualitative research under lockdown – Practical and ethical considerations

"How can qualitative researchers collect data during social-distancing measures? Adam Jowett outlines several techniques researchers can use to collect data without face-to-face contact with participants.

Bringing together a number of previous studies, he also suggests such techniques have their own methodological advantages and disadvantages and that while these techniques may appear particularly apt during the coronavirus crisis, researchers should take time to reflect on ethical issues before re-designing their studies."

This resource and the following information was contributed by Simon Hearn.

Authors and their affiliation

Adam Jowett, Associate Head of the School of Psychological, Social & Behavioural Sciences at Coventry University

Key features

A blog from the London School of Economics 'Impact of Social Science' series. It provides a good overview of practical and ethical considerations for qualitative researchers collecting data during social-distancing measures. It's packed full of links to potential tools but also advises caution before jumping to the obvious video conferencing tools.

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

I am using this for advice as we reorganise fieldwork for an ongoing evaluation.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

It made me stop and reflect on the tools we are considering and their suitability for asking the questions we need to ask, and the ethics of engaging the people we need to engage.


Jowett, A. Carrying out qualitative research under lockdown – Practical and ethical considerations, (April 20 2020). Retrieved May 2020, from