1: (how) should I use multimedia in my data records if they
will subsequently be archived?
It seems likely that researchers will increasingly use audio-visual
media as time goes on (due to the expanding opportunities
afforded by cheap, usable and portable technology). But the
increasing ease of representing data in image-form poses dilemmas
for later re-use.
• Should multimedia data be archived at all, considering
the problems of anonymity and confidentiality involved?
• How should multimedia data be archived so that they
can later be exploited appropriately by re-users?
• What are the different methodological issues involved
in archiving multimedia as opposed to text-only data?
• Would the prospect of their data being re-used encourage
researchers to use multimedia? Or would the potential problems
of copyright and consent (see Ethics
dilemma) make this rather less likely?
If qualitative data is only archived in text-form it will
place a serious limitation on the datasets that are made available
for future sharing and re-use. But for some, archiving video
data will always be unacceptable. This section’s starting
point is that multimedia data should not be excluded from
archives, except where issues of anonymity and confidentiality
are such that no subsequent researcher should be allowed access
to information that could identify the individual participants.
The ethical issues involved in image-based datasets are of
paramount importance here (see
ethics section). Another section of this Guide discusses
issues of anonymisation and active consent in detail.
Issues this section will consider:
1. Reliability of images: ambiguity and contingency
2. Data reduction and multimodality
3. Re-usability of image and sound records