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Collecting Qualitative Data During COVID-19

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 12936)


The current pandemic situation leads researchers to reflect on conducting qualitative research, completely changing how they conduct participatory research. As it became clear that the pandemic would last many months, researchers started to redesign their planned research in digital spaces through social media channels and participatory online tools. From communicating with participants over Zoom (or other similar applications) to sharing information on exclusive online groups, digital platforms have become, for many, the only way to work, learn, or be entertained. This situation offered a significant opportunity to think creatively about research engagement and reflect on which aspects truly require researchers to be “on the ground” to conduct face-to-face participatory sessions to gather qualitative data. Qualitative researchers must use this opportunity to reflect while using digital tools for distance research. This paper is inspired by the work the authors are conducting in MEMEX – a European-funded project promoting social inclusion by developing collaborative storytelling tools related to cultural heritage and at the same time facilitating encounters and interactions between communities at risk of social exclusion. Thus, the work here presented reflects on the digital tools and techniques to collect qualitative data when the researchers cannot meet the participants face-to-face due to pandemics safety measures or other restrictions.


  • COVID-19
  • Qualitative data
  • Focus groups
  • Collaboration
  • Digital tools
  • Co-design

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-85607-6_41
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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 870743 and the ARDITI’s postdoctoral scholarship M1420–09-5369-FSE-000002.

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Correspondence to Vanessa Cesário .

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Cesário, V., Nisi, V. (2021). Collecting Qualitative Data During COVID-19. In: , et al. Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2021. INTERACT 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12936. Springer, Cham.

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