We all agree that getting members of the public involved in Population Data Science research is fundamental to successful outcomes, but just how can the research community encourage under-represented communities to get involved?

In a new study led by Piotr Teodorowski from the University of Liverpool and published in the International Journal of Population Data Science (IJPDS), members from the Polish and South Asian communities helped shape our understanding of the barriers to their involvement in large population data research activities.

From 40 in-depth interviews with members of these ethnic minority groups, the research team was able to determine new ways to engage with seldom-heard communities by understanding what could influence their decision to become involved in big data research.

They found that the Polish and South Asian communities would actually like to be involved if they were made more aware of such opportunities and were provided with more information about the research being conducted. There was a general feeling that a layperson’s personal experiences would not be sufficient to contribute anything of value to research that needs to be addressed. Plus, the practicalities of being able to participate for these two communities in terms of for example, childcare and travel expenses would require further consideration if researchers hope to engage more marginalised populations in their research.

Piotr Teodorowski said, “Our findings suggest what researchers should consider when they want to involve seldom-heard communities. They provide particular insights for big data researchers. However, our findings can be applied across other areas where researchers and professionals want to reach and connect with seldom-heard communities such as my recent work delivering training to Merseyside Police.”


Click here to read the full open access article

Piotr Teodorowski, PhD Student, Institute of Population Health, University of Liverpool, UK

Teodorowski, P., Rogers, S. E., Fleming, K., Tahir, N., Ahmed, S. and Frith, L. (2023) “Exploring how to improve the involvement of Polish and South Asian communities around big data research. A qualitative study using COM-B model”, International Journal of Population Data Science, 8(1). doi: 10.23889/ijpds.v8i1.2130.