Preprint Communication Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Safe Fieldwork Strategies for At-Risk Individuals

Version 1 : Received: 31 July 2020 / Approved: 2 August 2020 / Online: 2 August 2020 (11:55:47 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Demery, A.C., Pipkin, M.A. Safe fieldwork strategies for at-risk individuals, their supervisors and institutions. Nat Ecol Evol (2020). Demery, A.C., Pipkin, M.A. Safe fieldwork strategies for at-risk individuals, their supervisors and institutions. Nat Ecol Evol (2020).

Journal reference: Nature Ecology and Evolution 2020
DOI: 10.1038/s41559-020-01328-5


As a result of identity prejudice, certain individuals are at higher risk for conflict and violence when they are in the field. At-risk individuals include minority identities of the following: race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, and/or religion. Everyone deserves to conduct fieldwork as safely as possible; therefore, it is paramount for anyone conducting fieldwork to be informed of the increased risk certain populations face when conducting field research and to define informed strategies. Research groups should adhere to best practices to minimize risk for all individuals who go into the field. Here we provide strategies that 1) acknowledge that some individuals encounter dangerous situations in the field due to their identity(ies), and 2) minimize the chance of conflict between and among researchers and other communities present at field sites. The inclusion of this document as a key resource in a research lab, a university department, or any active research or work environment sends a positive signal to at-risk individuals that their professional community acknowledges their risk and is willing to implement actions to ensure their safety. We suggest that this document be made freely available to anyone who is directly or indirectly involved in fieldwork. Supervisors who support the information in this document should publicly commit to promote a diverse and inclusive environment in order to maintain the safety of their researchers.


diversity; inclusion; equity; fieldwork; research



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