Longform recordings of everyday life: Ethics for best practices

Margaret Cychosz*, Rachel Romeo, Melanie Soderstrom, Camila Scaff, Hillary Ganek, Alejandrina Cristia, Marisa Casillas, Kaya de Barbaro, Janet Y. Bang, Adriana Weisleder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Recent advances in large-scale data storage and processing offer unprecedented opportunities for behavioral scientists to collect and analyze naturalistic data, including from underrepresented groups. Audio data, particularly real-world audio recordings, are of particular interest to behavioral scientists because they provide high-fidelity access to subtle aspects of daily life and social interactions. However, these methodological advances pose novel risks to research participants and communities. In this article, we outline the benefits and challenges associated with collecting, analyzing, and sharing multi-hour audio recording data. Guided by the principles of autonomy, privacy, beneficence, and justice, we propose a set of ethical guidelines for the use of longform audio recordings in behavioral research. This article is also accompanied by an Open Science Framework Ethics Repository that includes informed consent resources such as frequent participant concerns and sample consent forms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1951-1969
Number of pages19
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Confidentiality
  • Data management
  • Ethics
  • Longform recording
  • Naturalistic
  • Privacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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