The COVID-19 pandemic has forced large numbers of researchers to move their studies from the laboratory to the internet. In some ways, this has been a good thing — decades ago, a global pandemic would have shut down research entirely. Now, scientists can use social media, online registries and crowdsourcing tools such as Amazon Mechanical Turk to recruit participants to take surveys or perform tasks, without investing much time or money.
Despite how useful online research can be, it also comes with some serious beartraps. This great piece in the Spectrum magazine provides some great tips. A useful read for researchers whatever their experience level.
After the pandemic began and so much research moved online, Harrop and her colleagues knew that they needed to spread the word about what had happened to them, so they wrote a letter to the editor, published in Autism Research in January. Harrop spoke with Spectrum about her experience and shared some tips on how other researchers can protect themselves from fraud.