Clipping and Coding Audio Files: A Research Method to Enable Participant Voice

  • Susan Crichton University of Calgary
  • Elizabeth Childs University of Calgary


Qualitative researchers have long used ethnographic methods to make sense of complex human activities and experiences. Their blessing is that through them, researchers can collect a wealth of raw data. Their challenge is that they require the researcher to find patterns and organize the various themes and concepts that emerge during the analysis stage into a coherent narrative that a reader can follow. In this article, the authors introduce a technology-enhanced data collection and analysis method based on clipped audio files. They suggest not only that the use of appropriate software and hardware can help in this process but, in fact, that their use can honor the participants’ voices, retaining the original three-dimensional recording well past the data collection stage.