NEW PUBLICATION: ‘Observing Data-Driven Approaches to Covid-19: Reflections from a Distributed, Remote, Interdisciplinary Research Project’

Like many others during the pandemic, OMDDAC researchers have been working for many months in a fully distributed and remote manner, with some team members never having met in person.  The subject of the research is continually changing and developing, creating unique project management issues.  In a new peer-reviewed, open access article, OMDDAC researchers reflect on their experiences on the project, commenting on themes of project management/internal communication; and methodologies/interdisciplinary research:

Interdisciplinarity is often held up as an end in itself.  However, the OMDDAC experience demonstrates that the theoretical benefits for research will only be realised by designing the integration – in terms of responsibilities and involvement of each discipline and the degree of interdisciplinarity expected – into every aspect of a project.  It cannot be assumed that integration will somehow happen without effort, including new university processes to support interdisciplinary researchers and cut through departmental and disciplinary barriers.  Finally, we warn that it will be a false economy for universities and funders to assume that research projects can continue to be conducted in a mainly remote manner and therefore, that budgetary savings can be made by reducing time allocations, travel and academic networking.  We hope however that our reflections in this article will enable research projects to incorporate the best of remote methodologies while being prepared for some of the challenges.