Discovering and incorporating new forms of information into our daily lives has always been one of our species’ strong suits. Research is considered one of the essential processes in the academic community and for many major conglomerates that have to produce new technological advancements.
From a business and educational perspective, incorporating data and information through methodical research can help formulate new strategies that will make our day-to-day lives even more convenient. Whether it’s advancements in technological innovations, health, and business management, research has always been a tried-and-tested means of collecting information and reacting based on the gathered data.
However, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has caused drastic changes in different facets of society. Many academic institutions and industries have been revamping their mode of operation as a means of keeping many of their workforces safe and secure from a public health crisis.
Research institutions and R&D platforms of businesses have been affected one way or another by these recent changes. But even though these changes have made it more “challenging” to gather data and information, the need for research is now even more critical in this time of uncertainty.
So what are some practical ways of conducting research when most individuals are restricted to their local areas? How do we effectively manage remote tools and equipment for our own benefit? Whether you’re researching an academic institute, on behalf of a business, or for a non-profit organization, here are some essential strategies that will help expedite the progress of your research paper, even in uncertain times.
Prepare to Work in a Remote Workplace
Whether you’re working from home or working in sanitized facilities, it’s still important to have the right equipment and tools to effectively conduct your research. Most researchers working from home won’t have the same equipment they once had in their respective facilities and offices. But in most cases, having a laptop, charger, and a stable internet connection can already give you sufficient materials for research.
When you’re working alongside your teams, it’s still important to use secure channels and proper encryption when you’re storing data on your laptop and analyzing data.
Revamp Your Research, Analysis, and Methodology
Depending on your research’s nature, you’ll need to make the necessary changes to how you conduct your methodology and analysis. In most cases, researchers that conduct surveys will usually have to target a select group of individuals or conduct interviews as a means of collecting data and information.
Suppose you’re leaning towards collecting data remotely and storing them online. In that case, you’ll need to be mindful that changing how you conduct research will mean modifying research standards while revamping consent forms.
One of the blunders of remote work is that it’s harder to conduct surveys and collect data from different areas or conduct face-to-face interviews. That said, you’ll need to be creative in remotely collecting the right information and data through the use of tools. Fortunately, there are powerful online survey software tools that can help you manage vast amounts of data without spending time and energy going to different locations.
Another concern that most researchers have is addressing issues in digital literacy. A part of the population, such as old adults and individuals, won’t have the same digital literacy as younger generations. Those who are analyzing data will consider that some population won’t have access to internet tools.
Keep Participants Safe
Research institutions must emphasize keeping both human and animal participants safe. Many universities and businesses are halting face-to-face human surveys and research operations (unless essential to the COVID-19 effort) since this could increase the likelihood of individuals being exposed to COVID-19.
But certain medical research groups would say that the only time research is done if the benefits to the patient will outweigh the risks.
Cross-education of Researchers
Lastly, there should be transparency and a free-flow of information between the research staff. This way, the amount of time needed to conduct research is significantly decreased the time for data analysis. Staff should also be trained in managing data remotely since going to one workplace can usually pose a risk.
Although universities, academic institutes, and business establishments that conduct research might have to close down due to safety reasons, that doesn’t mean that research should grind to a halt. There are various strategies that businesses and educational institutes can incorporate into their methodology and database to ensure that research will remain unabated by circumstances beyond the control of humans. Ultimately, safety and trust should always be the priority in these trying times.