Online dating in the time of the coronavirus
A research project talking to online daters about their experiences during the pandemic
Welcome to the study
The Covid-19 pandemic has been shutting down countries around the world and social distancing is now in place in many locations. However, many daters are still using online dating platforms. This research aims to understand how this shift in social circumstances has changed how you use online dating.

You are being invited to take part in the research “Online dating in the time of corona virus”. This project is being led by Dr. Nicola Fox Hamilton at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.

Your participation will contribute to understanding how online daters have adapted to social distancing during the pandemic. The research will also look at how you might use technology to overcome the limitations that social distancing imposes.
What is involved?
If you choose to participate, you will be interviewed by the lead researcher, Dr. Nicola Fox Hamilton, via an online video platform.

A date and time will be arranged via email to suit you – most likely over the next two weeks. The interviews will be recorded and will take approximately 60 minutes.

The topics of the interview will about your use of online dating during the pandemic. This will include your expectations of online dating, what media you are using to communicate with people, whether you have been on online dates, and your experiences of dating during this time.

You may also choose to take part in shorter, follow-up interviews in the future. These will take place one every two months to see how your online dating behaviour may change over the course of the pandemic. You do not have to participate in any further interviews if you would prefer not.
Do I have to take part?
Participation is voluntary. You are free to decide whether you wish to take part or not. If you do decide to take part you will be asked to sign a consent form for our records. You are free to withdraw from this study at any time and without giving reasons.

While the interview will be about how you are using online dating, there is a possibility that there will be questions that make you uncomfortable. You may decide not to answer these questions if you do not wish to.

If, after the interview, you wish to have your data deleted and withdrawn from the study, please simply email the lead researcher at nicola.fox-hamilton@iadt.ie and your data will be securely deleted. This can be done up until the point of data analysis.

You will also have the option to either allow or not allow the use of quotes from your interview in reports or articles published about this research. Any quotes used in publishing this research will have any identifying information removed.
How will information about me be used?
Interview data from a number of participants will be analysed for themes, and those themes will be described, interpreted, and some quotes (where permission is granted) used to illustrate the themes. All identifying information will be removed from quotes and descriptions.

We will be collecting your email address as part of the study, but will only use this information to arrange taking part in the interview, and to invite you to take part in further interviews if you indicate that you would like to. Research records will be labelled with a participant ID that is linked to you by a separate list that includes your email address. Your email address will never be distributed.
Who will have access to information about me?
Only the researchers will have access to your interview data.

• The recording of your video interview and transcriptions of those interviews will be stored securely on a password protected computer and hard drive.

• If published your quotes will have any identifying information removed.

• The data will be retained by the researcher for at least seven years. If the research is to be published, most scientific journals require original data (including videos and transcripts) to be kept for 7 years.
Who has reviewed the study?
This study has been approved by the IADT Institute Research Ethics Committee.
Contact for further information
If you have questions or concerns about any aspect of this please contact Dr. Nicola Fox Hamilton at nicola.fox-hamilton@iadt.ie.

Thank you very much for reading this information sheet and considering taking part in this research.

Date: 1st May 2020
Consent to take part in the study
• I confirm that I have read and understand the information sheet for the above study and have had the opportunity to ask questions.

• I understand that my participation is voluntary and that I am free to withdraw at any time.

• I understand that data collected about me during this study will have identifying information removed before it is submitted for publication.

• I agree to the interview being video recorded.

• I am over 18.
I agree to take part in the study *
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