We published our book “Video Data Analysis: How to use 21st century video in social science research” with SAGE. In this book, we explore how 21st video data can change how we do social research, what opportunities they offer, and what challenges they entail. In doing so, we lay out how you can harness the power of 21st century videos to study a wide range of phenomena using video data.

Check out the table of contents and reviews here. Read a blog post on the book at SAGE Methodspace here.

Order your copy here.

If you are a lecturer and are interested in an inspection copy, feel free to reach out (contacts here) with an email and a course description.

Online Materials

In chapter 4 of the book, we discuss issues of research ethics and provide some practical tools to facilitate reflection on and discussion about such issues when using video data for social science research. Below, you can find five flowcharts, which you may find useful for your own research or in thinking about other scholars’ studies.


We also provide an assessment sheet template, which you may use to guide your reflections and discussions regarding research ethics of your own or someone else’s study.


Activities 3 and 4 in chapter 4, ask you to reflect on research ethics in Anne Nassauer’s article “How Robberies Succeed or Fail: Analyzing Crime Caught on CCTV”. Below, you can find our assessments of the study’s research ethics, using the above assessment sheet as a template.

You can also participate in a WikiSurvey here, which lets you weigh different aspects the study’s research ethics against each other.

Chapter 5 of the book focuses on video data collection and discusses data quality and validity, among other issues. There are two further WikiSurveys that may be interesting for you to try out. One pits different challenges to data quality against each other (survey here), the other allows you to reflect on different solutions to those challenges (survey here). In the activities section, we provide the following vignette that sets the stage for the two WikiSurveys:

“You used YouTube to access videos of fan behavior during basketball games. Your goal is to study how booing and other negative utterances spread among the crowd. You mainly found footage from attendees’ cell phones, but also TV footage. Let’s think about which aspects pose challenges to data quality in this research scenario. (1) Visit www.allourideas.org/VDA_Ch5_VignetteTest, and participate in the WikiSurvey. It will ask you to select between a set of two options, and you can do this as many times as you want. The goal is for you to reflect on validity aspects that you consider more relevant. You can also suggest new challenges to validity by typing them into the text field below. Once you do not want to provide any more answers, you can see what people thought overall by clicking on ‘view results’ in the upper right corner.b. (2) Pointing out problems is fun, but how can we fix them? You can vote on which solutions you think are best here: www.allourideas. org/VDA_Ch5_VignetteTest2. The procedure is the same as above. Again, once you are done, you can have a look at the results.”

Header image copyright: “Open book,” by Dietmar Rabich, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.