Frequently Asked Questions

What is the timeline of the project? Our primary goal is to submit this paper Friday the 8th of May. To reach that goal, we hope that all (or most) data collections will be completed by Monday the 4th of May. It is very important that everyone does their very best to get their data collections completed in time. However, we will continue to add data during the paper revision stage. If it is slightly late we will likely be able to include it.

Will I need ethical approval? Yes, we will all need ethical approval. We have obtained “umbrella” ethics approval from the University of Kent (approval ID 202015872211976468). You can download the ethics approval confirmation here. Please read carefully the instructions and the information, consent and debriefing forms here. These need to be included in the study for the ethics approval to cover data collection. The Kent ethics covers anonymous online or phone data collection in all countries. However, you also need to ensure you comply with your local and institutional ethics guidelines. Some universities might require additional ethics review. Please note that it is not possible to add names of individual researchers to the umbrella ethics approval. Please indicate on the data collect which ethics you will rely form on. Please also send documentation confirming that ethics approval has been obtained, waived or is not relevant from your institution (in the latter two cases, you can rely on the Kent ethics approval) to Aleksandra Cichocka before you begin data collection. The most important thing is that you are fully compliant with your local ethical standards. If you have any questions about ethics, please contact Aleksandra Cichocka)

When will you need the ethical approval evidence? We estimate data collection will need to be completed by the end of April to be part of the initial paper submission. However, we can continually add data through the peer review process, which could take weeks. The simple answer is that people will need to complete data collection by the end of April if they want to guarantee you will be able to join us as an author, but there is a high probability (but no guarantee) people will have an opportunity to add data at a later date if you miss the initial deadline. If you are have your own ethics approval, please email Aleksandra Cichocka) with proof of your ethics approach prior to our submission to a journal.

Can you tell us the scope of the questionnaire: how many items, how many scales? We have drafted a primary survey that should take 15-20 minutes for most people to complete. Please see survey doc here. Each survey will need to include a consent form and debriefing (approved by Kent University as shown above). Please randomize the items within each questionnaire and randomize the order of questionnaires within the survey. You are free to add additional questions or items, but please do so AFTER the primary items are completed. Adjust country-specific questions: When you go through the survey, make sure to replace all cases of YOUR COUNTRY or (INSERT YOUR COUNTRY) with actually writing in the name of your own country, including both instructions and items where this is mentioned. Please email [Valerio Capraro] or Hallgeir Sjåstad) with any questions about the measures and methods.

Will the questionnaire need to be translated into other languages? Yes, each research team will need to translate the survey into the local language. We are asking teams to translate and back-translate each scale to ensure the items are translated correctly before running the study. If there are any problems, the translation will need to be updated. (We will likely not have time for additional piloting of items to test validity and reliability, but we encourage it wherever possible). If you have questions about the translation process please email Paulo Sérgio Boggio Translation procedure: You have the main responsibility for translating and conducting the data collection in your country. For translations of the survey, follow the three steps: Forward translation of the instrument from English to ‘YOUR LANGUAGE’; it is important to focus at the conceptual equivalent of the sentences; it is not a literal translation. Checking concepts: another one from the team (and bilingual) should check the translated instrument to evaluate if the items are conceptually fine and addressing what it is proposed for. Back-translation of the instrument from ‘YOUR LANGUAGE’ to English so we can check if it is consistent and concepts are not being lost between versions. Back-translation should not be done by a the person doing the previous steps.

How do I coordinate with other researchers? Please see the list of researchers in each country here and enter your respective information: link. If members of your research team are missing, please add them to this document. This document will help people in each country coordinate with one another to fund and obtain representative samples and determine a point person for each country. Michèle D. Birtel has volunteered to help coordinate research teams in each country. To help with organizing, she will need to know who is (1) coordinating the country, (2) if they have leftover funds that can be used to fund another country, and (3) if they need funds. Please complete this form with the details for each country. Please also let us know if you are collecting any additional measures with other countries for secondary papers: At present we have over 61 countries working with us as part of this project. As such, it’s hard to manage it all so we encourage as much management by people within each country as possible. Please work together to coordinate data collection, translations, data cleaning, etc. Thanks to Paulo for putting together this map of the world. If you see any missing countries please invite any collaborators from those nations.

How do you want the study to be conducted? Would a web-based/online questionnaire be okay or should we apply the scales face to face to the sample? A web-based or online questionnaire would be ideal. We prefer this method to reduce the risks of infection for researchers and participants, and to increase standardization of the data collection process. If this is not possible, we are asking each research team to make the best professional judgment in coordination with local public health experts and your ethics board. Please email Valerio Capraro with any questions about the measures and methods.

Do we need to collect a fully representative sample? We are asking each team to obtain a representative sample with regards to age, gender and ethnicity, since we are aiming to generalize conclusions to the larger population and those are known risk factors for COVID-19. We often use Lucid to collect online samples and will create a system to share advice about improving samples (e.g., using private firms to collect data). We understand if your sample cannot be fully representative on all possible dimensions and that language limitations may leave some segments of the population inaccessible. Methodologist Flávio Azevedo has volunteered to be the contact person for survey methodology and he is the point person about how to collect a representative sample. His experience working with survey companies led him to suggest we might not be able to obtain a quota for ethnicity. This is because most association have to observe rules regarding the conduct of online surveys and it’s not allowed to exclude respondents because of their ethnicity (i.e., by implementing a quota on this criteria survey companies will probably have reach “Quotafulls” and from that point onward participants would be excluded from the survey based on ethnicity background). If this is a barrier for your sample, please feel free to proceed without this restriction.

Would it be okay to reach more people than 500? YES! Our goal is to obtain a minimal sample of 500 for each country. But you can collect a much larger sample if you wish. We also understand a larger sample might be necessary to obtain at least 500 usable participants. We trust your judgment on how to proceed. We also invite research teams from the same country to join funding to obtain a larger or more representative sample and/or share excess funds to help support a sample in another country. You can see your collaborators from each country here. Please reach out to them to coordinate data collection in each country, identify translators, etc. Once you have determined you team in each country, please fill out the details on this data collect form. Please email Michele Birtel with any questions regarding coordination.

Should you send us your raw data or only those, who fulfill your requested criteria? We ask that you send us raw, de-identified data for our journal submission. Once you send us the data you (and your team) will be added as authors to our paper submission. We plan to submit a short paper with the data to Nature Scientific Data by May 8, 2020. This may seem fast, but we are planning to write the entire paper in parallel which will help this move quickly. Paulo Sérgio Boggio) and his lab will be overseeing the data management and aggregation process. He will send out details later about the exact format of the data. Please email him the data once it is collected.

Can I get advice about doing cross-cultural research? Cultural psychologist Michele Gelfand) has volunteered to talk about special issues that arise in collecting data across cultures, particularly the importance of looking for response sets (very typical) and controlling for them and making sure the measures are showing equivalence in measurement across cultures to make them comparable. Having her specific expertise on this issue will be very helpful to many of us who are relatively new to cross cultural work.

Can I add additional measures to the survey? Yes, you are free to add any measures you wish to your survey. All we ask is that you add them after the primary questionnaire. You are also free to publish these additional data in whatever form you wish and we hope you will. We will not need these data in our planned paper and you can keep them private or make them public whenever you wish. Note that you may need your own institutional ethics approval for additional measures.

Can I add additional measures to the primary questionnaire survey? We are afraid there is no additional room in the survey and adding more measures would likely be cost prohibitive for many people. However, we invite you to contact other labs and determine if a bunch of you can add additional questionnaires. If you do, you are free to publish those as different papers and are not obligated to add that data to the initial paper we have planned. We have created a google doc where you can list other measures you’d like to add to different surveys (and additional funding you have, if available, to support additional data collection). You can then contact people or have them contact you to include those measures. If you are willing to coordinate this process of secondary data collection, please let me know and I will add your contact information here.

Can my student be a co-author on the main paper? Yes, your collaborators, postdocs, graduate students and undergraduate students can be a co-author as long as they make a substantive contribution to the publication of the paper. That includes designing and running your survey. We are using APA guidelines for authorship credit: Students are also free to do secondary analyses on the paper that can be part of their dissertation or publications. As such, we hope this project will represent a considerable opportunity for early career researchers.

How will we write the paper? Our goal is to start writing the paper immediately, in parallel to data collection. People who included the items can start drafting short summaries, but it will be good to have a few people who can help format the document, add references, draft and edit the introduction, etc. If you are available and willing to help draft the paper in the next two weeks please contact [Valerio Capraro] or Hallgeir Sjåstad) .

Can I publish my own data? One team told me they are analyzing the survey data from their home country as part of another publication. They asked if they could combine their own measures with the scales we collected from the general survey in our collaborative paper. I told them that is NOT a problem. You are free to publish any data from your own national/regional samples. If you would like to do secondary analysis on the complete dataset, we now have more details on that process. We plan to make a random 10% of our entire dataset available to all our collaborators in the next few days. This means you will all have access to over 10% of the dataset for exploratory analyses. You can then draft a pre-registration in order to get access to the complete dataset. We will do a cursory analysis of all pre-registrations and then send people the entire dataset after submission of the initial paper. We will send out full details very soon. But note that your pre-registration does NOT need to be public. We will simply need a copy to review. Note that we will not evaluate it for scientific content, merely for relevance and completeness. In terms of authorship, all authors will receive authorship on the first collaborative paper using the full dataset, but not on secondary papers. You are, of course, free to invite any or all collaborators to help you analyze and write up data. But it is not required for secondary analysis of existing data. Authorship on secondary papers will be determined by the standards of whatever journals you target. Here is a sample authorship scorecard I use to resolve these types of issues

Can I add myself or a collaborator to the group listserv? Sabbir Mansoor & Anat Perry have kindly volunteered to create and manage a listserv. For any questions about the email listserv or to add someone, please email them. To my knowledge, we should now have everyone who filled out the google form on this listserv. If you have collaborators who are not on the listserv, please have them complete our google form and include their email and we will continually update the listserv: If you would like to discuss general questions we have created a sample google forum for understanding. Please check the group discussion boards.

Can I email you with more questions? I hate to say it, but please don’t. Since we are getting 50-100 emails per day on this project, it is not possible to respond to all of them. Normal project communication doesn’t quite scale with a project this large. Therefore, we have tried to streamline questions to help us keep track and address most major issues as they arise. You can read our Frequently Asked Questions document or write new questions here. As you can see, our team is jumping in to add to these questions and answers and many of the answers will be shared with everyone. You can also read all my past emails to the group to see if you have missed anything.


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