The proliferation of digital video cameras and audio recorders has provided researchers with a rich and readily-available source of data. Like all other data sources, researchers need to consider how this new media will be gathered, organized and analyzed.
If you are recording in a research setting— for example, an emergency room at a hospital or a school playground, you may want to consider the following:
Do you require consent from all participants participating in the audio/video?
Recording equipment can be distracting— take note of how the presence of the camera or recorder affects participants.
Consider how much data you want to collect—hours of footage can be a daunting and unmanageable prospect.
Keep a log of what you are doing— date and time, location, the events that took place, the surrounding conditions and your personal feelings about the events. In NVivo, this material can be imported as a transcript or as annotations and memos.
Do you want to edit the audio/video material? You will need to do this before importing it into NVivo. Determine what editing software you will use and check the equipment manuals for information about downloading media files from a recorder to your computer.
Many ethnographic and social research projects ask participants to record their own experiences. If you are gathering this type of data, be aware that people have different levels of expertise in using video/audio equipment and you may end up with large amounts of unusable material. Ask participants to keep a log of what they are doing and why they chose to record particular events.
Like other sources in NVivo, you can use folders and sets to organize your audio/video data. Audio/video sources can be kept in any Internals folder— you can create a folder for all your audio or video sources or you can store them with related documents or pictures.
In the Volunteering Sample Project
ThesourceVideo - Non-volunteers is stored in the Focus Groups folder with other documents. You can distinguish video sources from document sources by their icons.
If you are working with large or many video files, consider the options for storing the media outside of your NVivo project. Refer to Storing Audio and Video for more information.
Do you want to transcribe your audio and video sources? Consider the following:
Since you can code directly on a audio or video, you may not need a transcript.
Without a transcript, an audio or video source is excluded from Text Search or Word Frequency queries (although you can query annotations instead).
You can transcribe the media in NVivo or you can import transcripts from Microsoft Word.
If you are importing transcripts from Microsoft Word, ensure that they are formatted correctly. Refer to Importing Transcripts for more information about valid formats.
You can choose to transcribe only the 'interesting' portions of an audio or video.
A transcript can be a record of what is said or descriptions of what is occurring. It may also be a simple collection of keywords.