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The COVID-19
Impacts to Researchers
Diary Study

We will be conducting a longitudinal online study between September, 2020 and February, 2021 to investigate how researchers have been impacted by, and are adapting to, life during COVID-19.


We are seeing that researchers across the globe have been impacted both personally and professionally due to COVID-19. We’ve seen disruption in the form of lab closures, interrupted experiments or clinical trials, uncertainties with regards to funding or appointments, and the inability to travel to conferences.

We have also seen an unprecedented amount of research output these past few months and, along with that, a new set of challenges that test the bounds of publication speed, peer-review, assessment.

Our study seeks to collect longitudinal self-reported data to investigate the month-by-month impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on researchers from:

Collecting this type of longitudinal data will give us a better understanding of how your typical research activities and your work-life balance have been impacted.

We also hope to learn more about how you are coping with these new limitations. How are you staying productive? What have been your biggest challenges so far?

Finally, we want to hear what worries you have about life after the pandemic.

Your stories will help us understand how we, as a publisher and advocate for open science, can best support you through this challenging time and in your future endeavors.


We will collect your survey responses and your written responses. In order to ensure your privacy, your name will not be recorded with your responses. Instead, your entries and uploads will be allocated and stored using a special code number. Only the research team will be able to match your name to your code number if it is necessary to do so (e.g., to contact you to complete the next entry, or to send you a payment).


We care about your privacy:

If you change your mind, and want to withdraw your consent in the future, please contact us and we will destroy any personal data we hold about you. Otherwise, we will delete your personal data after three years.

In addition to the PLOS Research team, other PLOS employees may read your diary entries. These responses will be treated as confidential and will not be shared outside our organization.

We may publish research reports that include quotes from your written entries but any such quotes will be anonymized. This means your name and identity will not be linked in our research reports to anything you write.


You will be asked to give consent at the beginning of the screener questionnaire:

By ticking the consent checkbox in the screener questionnaire, you indicate that you:

1. Understand this information,
2. consent to participate in this study, and
3. to PLOS collecting the data as described above
4. to PLOS using the data collected as described above.

If you want additional information, wish to withdraw your participation, or if you have any questions about this project you can contact Sam Vijghen (, or the PLOS Research Team (

Please keep a copy of this document for your records.

Please save a copy of our Information for participants document.  Download PDF

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