PARTICIPANT INFORMATION SHEET
In 1937, Tom Harrisson, Charles Madge and Humphrey Jennings created Mass Observation, a project aimed at recording everyday life in Britain. Mass Observation collected diaries and reports, conducted surveys and paid investigators to record conversations among members of the public. # RecordCovid19 is loosely inspired by Mass Observation. It aims to collect submissions from people living in these extraordinary times of social distancing, economic uncertainty, social self-isolation and state-enforced lockdown during the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic. We seek to collect and publicly record the experiences of individuals living through these turbulent times. This #RecordCovid19 project initially started out as an individual personal project but it is now being developed in conjunction with Coventry University.
You are being invited to take part in research historicising and preserving experiences of Covid19 by submitting anonymous blog posts to the #RecordCovid19 project. Dr Kristopher Lovell, Lecturer in History at Coventry University is leading this research. Before you decide to take part it is important you understand whythe research is being conducted and whatit will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully.
What is the purpose of the study?
This project is intended to be a collection of resources available for future generations about the Covid-19 outbreak. In particular, we hope the diaries and accounts, which are to be published online as events unfold, will be a valuable collection of primary sources for sociologists and historians to use in future research who are interested in the historical, social, cultural and political impact of the pandemic. You are free to discuss any aspect that you feel comfortable discussing which might be published anonymously in the future. Occasionally, we will add a page that asks for opinions about specific events.
This is, of course, voluntary.
Why have I been chosen to take part?
You are invited to participate in this study because you, as a member of the public, have experienced an historic event as an individual and individual accounts make history. This is a volunteer project and there is no obligation or expectation to participate. Any entries will be treated anonymously however offensive material will not be published online. Any individual can ask to withdraw from this project at any time.
What are the benefits of taking part?
By sharing your experiences with us, you will be helping Kristopher Lovell and Coventry University to better understand the social, cultural and political impact of the Covid19 pandemic and the impact it has had on individuals. Your experiences will also help us to historicise and contextualise the pandemic and the responses to it.
Are there any risks associated with taking part?
This study has been reviewed and approved through Coventry University’s formal research ethics procedure. There are no significant risks associated with participation however the project recognises that talking about the impact of Covid19 can be upsetting and the pandemic is making difficult situations even harder for many people. If you do find participating upsetting or that things are getting difficult, there are lots of amazing wellbeing services out there such as Mind and the Samaritans that can help provide emotional support. Please find some suggestions here: https://kristopherlovell.com/2020/11/17/list-of-resources/
Do I have to take part?
No – it is entirely up to you. If you do decide to take part, please keep this Information Sheet and complete the Informed Consent Form to show that you understand your rights in relation to the research, and that you are happy to participate. If you seek to withdraw from the study at a later date please contact the researcher. You are free to withdraw your information from the project data set at any time. You should note that your data may be used in the production of formal research outputs (e.g. journal articles, conference papers, theses and reports) in the future and so you are advised to contact the university at the earliest opportunity should you wish to withdraw from the study. To withdraw, please contact the lead researcher (Kristopher Lovell, email@example.com). Please also contact the Research Support Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that your request can be dealt with promptly in the event of the lead researcher’s absence. You do not need to give a reason. A decision to withdraw, or not to take part, will not affect you in any way.
What will happen if I decide to take part?
If you volunteer to take part, you will be asked to input a diary entry on the submission page https://kristopherlovell.com/record-covid-19-project/. Before submitting your entry you will need to check the disclosure box acknowledging that you have read the Terms of Service and understand what data is being collected, and you consent that materials submitted will be published online anonymously.
The project is interested to know how people felt, for example, hearing the Prime Minister’s broadcast informing the country that the population is entering a period of mandatory isolation. We are interested in understanding how people feel about the prospect of isolation, how they are keeping themselves occupied and hopefully how people feel when this is all over. We aim to collect your stories, be it in the form of diaries, general accounts and observations on your experiences. We would like to collect general information about participants, such as your general location, occupation, gender and age range.
All entries made to this website will be anonymous, please do not add your name or the personal identifying details of any other individual. If you do, these will be deleted. To increase your privacy, we strongly encourage you to use initials or made-up names for the people you mention and to do your best not to inadvertently identify yourself. The length of your anonymous diary entry is up to you. It may consist of several lines or several paragraphs. How much time and how many diary entries you wish to volunteer is entirely up to you.
Data Protection and Confidentiality
Your data will be processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. All submissions should be anonymous. Submissions that are not anonymous will be anonymised and only information you choose to discuss will be shared with and on WordPress. Any identifying data inadvertently submitted will only be viewed by the researcher/research team prior to anonymisation. A password protected backup copy of the data will be stored electronically by the lead researcher. The lead researcher will take responsibility for data destruction and all collected data will be destroyed after anonymisation.
Data Protection Rights
Coventry University is a Data Controller for the information you provide. You have the right to access information held about you. Your right of access can be exercised in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018. You also have other rights including rights of correction, erasure, objection, and data portability. For more details, including the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office, please visit www.ico.org.uk. Questions, comments and requests about your personal data can also be sent to the University Data Protection Officer – email@example.com
What will happen with the results of this study?
The results of this study may be summarised in published articles, reports and presentations. Quotes or key findings will always be made anonymous in any formal outputs unless we have your prior and explicit written permission to attribute them to you by name.
Terms of Service
By submitting content to this website, I confirm that I have read and understood the Participant Information documentation. I understand that my contributor content is hereby assigned to the curator of the Record Covid-19 Project. I hereby waive all rights of every kind pertaining to this information, whether or not such rights are now known, recognised, or contemplated in relation to this work, on the understanding that the content will not be used in a derogatory manner and that as the author my words will be published anonymously. I understand that no payment is due to me for this assignment and consent. In assigning my copyright, I understand that I am giving the curator of the Record Covid-19 Project the right to use and make available the content of my contribution in the following ways:
- publicly displayed on the Record Covid-19 Project website
- use in schools, universities, colleges and other educational establishments, including use in a thesis, dissertation or similar research
- public performance, lectures or talks
- use in publications, including print, audio, digital media and online
- public reference purposes in libraries, museums & record offices
- use on radio or television
- publication worldwide on the internet
- offered to a public archive
Making a Complaint
If you are unhappy with any aspect of this research, please first contact the lead researcher, Kristopher Lovell [firstname.lastname@example.org]. If you still have concerns and wish to make a formal complaint, please write to:
Professor Damian Sutton
Faculty Ethics Lead – Arts and Humanities
Coventry CV1 5FB
In your letter please provide information about the research project, specify the name of the researcher and detail the nature of your complaint.
General Statement – use and storage of your data
We take the Protection of Data and Information Security seriously.
This is a voluntary project and is being curated for public good purposes, historical records and research (in the tradition of Mass Observation studies).
Contributions will be anonymised. The information, thoughts, writings, diary entries and comments will be published using WordPress and may be used for research at this time or in the future.
To increase your privacy, we strongly encourage you to use initials or made-up names for the people you mention, and to do your best not to inadvertently identify yourself.
Any information linking a contributor, their contribution(s) and their identity will be stored securely and not processed automatically, sold or made public. These data might include (but not limited to) e-mails, phone and other contact details, full names, or other information from which an individual could be identified.
Any individual can ask to withdraw from this project at any time.
A PDF version can be found here: