Covid-19 may have changed the way we are conducting our research, driving our in-person interviews to online platforms or telephones, pushing us to discover new ways to approach observation-based research etc. My own experience has been slightly less affected by Covid-19 because I was still in my first year of my degree when it began. Now I am entering into my second year and attempting to navigate conducting a pilot study where recruitment was meant to take place amongst international students attending my university. As no one is on campus, the logistics of recruitment have changed slightly. In some ways, this will help make my study more robust, as I am recruiting through social media and hopefully gaining participants from all over the UK. I am also widening the student levels I’m recruiting from for the same reasons.
Covid-19 has changed the way I am approaching my research (e.g. pushing me out of my comfort zone to recruit via social media platforms, but it has also afforded me the opportunity to think outside the box. Because the traditional approach to certain aspects of research is now limited, we as researchers are able, and encouraged, to try new things. While there are risks involved, I think the push for, and acceptance of, non-traditional ways of conducting research during this time will help strengthen academia as a whole.
And for those of you interested in helping a fellow PhD student with her research, please do consider filling out my questionnaire if you are an international student studying in Scotland. The purpose of the research is to explore the nature of the relationship between culture and the use of public library resources by international students. If you are an international student, please consider participating in this research. The questionnaire should take no longer than twenty minutes. You can find the link here: Culture and Public Library Use Questionnaire