Should Researchers Destroy Audio or Video Recordings?

David B. Resnik, Alison Antes, Jessica Mozersky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is a common practice in qualitative research to transcribe audio or video files from interviews or focus groups and then destroy the files at some future time, usually after validating the transcript or concluding the research. We argue that it is time to rethink this practice and that retention of original qualitative data—including audio and video recordings—should be the default stance in most cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-35
Number of pages6
JournalEthics and Human Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024


  • audio recording
  • human subjects research
  • institutional review boards (IRBs)
  • qualitative research
  • video recording


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