Democratic research: Setting up a research commons for a qualitative, comparative, longitudinal interview study during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zimmermann BM., Wagenaar H., Kieslich K., Prainsack B., Meyers G., Buyx A., El-Sayed S., Fiske A., Galasso I., Geiger S., Hangel N., Horn R., Johnson S., Kuiper JML., Lucivero F., McLennan S., Paul KT., Pot M., Radhuber I., Samuel G., Sharon T., Siffels L., Van Hoyweghen I., Awad S., Bourgeron T., Eichinger J., Gaille M., Haddad C., Hayes S., Hoffman A., Jasser M., Kenens J., Lanzing M., Libert S., Lievevrouw E., Marelli L., Ongolly F., Phillips A., Pinel C., Riesinger K., Roberts S., Saxinger G., Schlogl L., Schönweitz F., Sierawska A., Spahl W., Stendahl E., Vanstreels S., Vidolov S., Weiss E.
The sudden and dramatic advent of the COVID-19 pandemic led to urgent demands for timely, relevant, yet rigorous research. This paper discusses the origin, design, and execution of the SolPan research commons, a large-scale, international, comparative, qualitative research project that sought to respond to the need for knowledge among researchers and policymakers in times of crisis. The form of organization as a research commons is characterized by an underlying solidaristic attitude of its members and its intrinsic organizational features in which research data and knowledge in the study is shared and jointly owned. As such, the project is peer-governed, rooted in (idealist) social values of academia, and aims at providing tools and benefits for its members. In this paper, we discuss challenges and solutions for qualitative studies that seek to operate as research commons.