The consequences of the Coronavirus Crisis on academic work are emerging with reports of a decline in research from disadvantaged academics and concerns about the growth of inequalities in the profession being vocalised. As Editors of BSA journal Work, Employment and Society, we were particularly interested in exploring more deeply the impact of C-19 on our working practices, and particularly on the ‘output’ that is being created.
There has been a fair bit of discussion in the media and social media about the gendered aspects of the C-19 impact. Journal editors have noted that submissions from men have been on the increase and there has also been discussion around whether the pandemic and lockdown has seen an overall rise in journal submissions, a reduction in peer reviewer availability, and what the longer-term effects will be on research output.
All the BSA journal editors discussed our own experiences and observations, noting the importance of the issues beginning to be noted and vocalised. The Editors of WES, perhaps naturally, have chosen to take this forward and create a survey that we encourage as many of us to complete as possible. This survey aims build a more thorough dataset of the impact of COVID-19 and the issues facing academic workers over the next 12 months, rather than just our observations as editors.
We want your support to explore these questions of gender inequalities but to go beyond that to explore other sources of inequalities such as race, caring responsibilities and disabilities and their impacts on career progression and our ability to produce and meet REF deadlines and other measures of performance. We hope we can reflect on the impact of life under lockdown and consider how we can minimise the further reinforcement of inequalities.
There are a variety of surveys and calls for evidence and we hope this survey will add to the developing body of knowledge. We hope you will find participation in this survey a quick way of contributing to a better collective understanding of the impact of C-19 on our ways of work.
The survey will be open for one month to any academics working in Higher Education. All data will be anonymised and held by Dr Elizabeth Cotton, University of Hertfordshire, working with Prof Eleonore Kofman and Dr Janroj Yilmaz Keles from Middlesex University who are members of the British Sociological Association’s Work Employment & Society (WES) Editorial Team.
Once closed we will analyse the data and report to the BSA and on Everyday Society and in other suitable venues. We hope to inspire further discussion and analysis leading to greater understanding. Ideally, this data, in conjunction with other accounts, stories and experiences.
We hope you will give a small amount of your very pressured time to fill out this survey and pass it on to others who would also be interested in adding their experiences.