Ethics in the Field: Research Practice in Audio-Visual Studies


  • Maximilian Krug Universität Duisburg-Essen
  • Svenja Heuser University of Luxembourg



research ethics, conversation analysis, audio-visual data, multimodality, eye tracking


Audio-visual recording of human interaction constitutes the empirical foundations of research in many social science disciplines. The cooperation and interactive coordination of participants is at the center of qualitative analyses and is often recorded simultaneously by several video cameras. But little ethical reflection has occurred about how this data was recorded, which prearrangements were necessary, how the researchers discharge their tasks of supervision and responsibility towards the participants and which sources of stress voluntary participants face. An increasingly central role in the study designs of interaction and communication research is mobile eye tracking. This technology provides the researchers with more insight into human gaze behavior; but participants often perceive it invasive and painful. With respect to the current discussion about research ethics in the qualitative social sciences, we reconstruct various situations within research studies with participants wearing mobile eye tracking-glasses regarding the ethical conduct of researchers and participants. In the center of our ethical reflection is the question how researchers process in situ their responsibilities for participants with respect to the degree of invasiveness and voluntariness of research studies.


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Author Biography

Maximilian Krug, Universität Duisburg-Essen

Maximilian KRUG ist wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft der Universität Duisburg-Essen. Er forscht zu interaktionalen Phänomenen der multimodalen Face-to-Face-Interaktion.



How to Cite

Krug, M., & Heuser, S. (2018). Ethics in the Field: Research Practice in Audio-Visual Studies. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 19(3).



Research Ethics in Qualitative Research