Methodological considerations of digital video observation: Beyond conversation analysis

Christopher Pearce*, Michael Arnold, Christine Phillips, Kathryn Dwan

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper discusses some of the methodological issues of using digital video data in observational studies. It is based on the authors' experiences in research involving medical consultations. Previous observational studies in this field have used either direct observation or analogue videotapes. Traditionally, analysis is then done on transcriptions of the tapes, using conversation analysis or other techniques. These techniques were formed and created using largely analogue audiotapes. We will demonstrate how digital video increases the richness of data, such that conversation analysis becomes interaction analysis. Additionally, we argue that digital video changes the relationship between reader, researcher and data. A consideration of these changes is important to framing a comprehensive methodological approach to using digital video observation. Digital video needs to be considered in terms of what it offers in and of itself, rather than relating it to other techniques.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)90-99
    Number of pages10
    JournalInternational Journal of Multiple Research Approaches
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


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