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Get started with recordings for interviews

Get started with recordings for interviews

Here you find everything about how to get started with audio recordings in interviews for research and at master and bachelor level.

Recording policy – approved system 

  • Nettskjema-diktafon (uio.no), the dictaphone app, is basically the only approved tool when recording yellow and red data

  • You can use the dictaphone app on both private as well as OsloMet owned devices, as the audio files can’t be listened to on the mobile device because of security reasons. They will be transferred to Nettskjema/TSD. 

  • Physical dictaphone is not recommended but may be a solution for some projects where for various reasons it is not appropriate to use Nettskjema-Diktafon. 

  • The standard built-in recorder on the device (iOS, Android, Windows etc.) or other audio recording applications are not approved for this kind of data collection. 

  • Planning

    • All student assignments and research projects that are processing personal data (voices in audio recordings count as personal data) must report this to Data Protection Services (Sikt) (ansatt.oslomet.no). You can’t start gathering data (audio recordings) until you’ve received an assessment from Data Protection Services (Sikt). You can read more about this on the page about processing personal data in study assignments
    • You need to declare what kind of data you are gathering and where the audio recordings can be saved in this case. 
    • Can the audio file be saved directly to Nettskjema (ansatt.oslomet.no)? (ordinary personal data) 
    • Or will the audio file contain such sensitive information that it needs to be delivered to the secure server TSD? (Tjenester for Sensitive Data, Eng. Services for Secure Information) (sensitive data) 
    • You will need to make the same assessment if you are considering using a physical dictaphone. Read more under Audio file processing in research (ansatt.oslomet.no)
    • Remember that your project manager (supervisor) is responsible for assessing the value and risk (ansatt.oslomet.no) and establishing routines for how the personal data is going to be processed by an assessment from Data Protection Services (Sikt)/REC. Talk to your supervisor. See more under “Your responsibility as student and supervisor” on the bottom of this page. 
    • You need to declare beforehand how consent should be obtained, and the informants/research participants must be informed of their rights regarding the privacy policy (ansatt.oslomet.no) in terms of access, restriction and deletion of information. 
  • Preparing for the use of Nettskjema dictaphone 

    You need to create your own Nettskjema (web form) for using the dictaphone app for your project, because the app needs to be directed to the “form” where your recordings are being saved. The following steps apply: 

    • See user guides for creating Nettskjema (uio.no) 
    • When logging in to Nettskjema, choose “Feide”. 
    • Remember to choose “Get form from template (Consent form, dictaphone etc.)” when creating a web form for audio recordings. 
    • User guides for the dictaphone app (uio.no) 
    • The dictaphone app can be downloaded from Google Play/AppStore. 
    • In the app, you must refer to the Nettskjema-ID (form ID) which corresponds to the web form you just created. You find this by clicking the “Collect responses” tab in your web form and finding the characters at the end of your form’s web address (https://nettskjema.no/a/XXXXXX). 
    • Familiarize yourself with Nettskjema-diktafon as a tool and make sure everything is working without sensitive content. 

    Do you have the latest version of the app? 

    If you’ve used the dictaphone app earlier, be sure to check that you have the latest version of the app (if it’s been a while since you used it). Upgrading/reinstallation of the app does not affect saved/submitted recordings. Go to Google Play/AppStore. If it says “open”, you have the latest version. 

    If not, click install/upgrade. Make sure to change the form ID. Go to the app settings. Under submission – choose to submit to another form. 

    In need of two recording devices? 

    If you have few and unique respondents (a unique recording that cannot be repeated) it may be wise to prevent loss of data by using two devices for recording that both use Nettskjema-Diktafon and submit to the same form. It is enough that one of the devices only works with wireless internet (WiFi). 

    Unable to meet the respondent in person? 

    Read more under “Remote recording via Zoom meeting” about how you can use the dictaphone app to record if the person you’re interviewing is in another location. 

  • Settings in Nettskjema dictaphone

    The following settings should be set in the web form before use: 

    • “Automatic deletion of submissions” is activated under the tab “Settings”. Both old and new audio files will be deleted continuously after the number of given days. 
    • The student supervisor, the person responsible for the student’s work, should have access to edit all student forms that are established within a project. Add the student supervisor’s e-mail under the tab “Permissions” in the section “Editing rights”. 
    • The number of students who have access to the same form should be limited. The recommended maximum is three. 
    • Good naming (“Title”) of web forms is advisable if there are many forms in the study (and one form per student). For example, a combination of course, semester, year, project and possibly a serial number, INF101-H20-P1001-01. The title field is not displayed to the respondents. 
  • Sign agreement for use 

    To make sure that you as a student have read and understood the guidelines regarding the use of audio recordings in student assignments, it is a requirement that you sign the agreement below before you start with the recordings. Remember to inform your supervisor, as you must state this person in the agreement. 

    Click here to sign the form digitally (nettskjema.no).

  • Recording and submitting 

    Before you start recording 

    Repeat the information that has been sent out in advance and inform the interview participant that the recording is starting. Inform them that you do not have access to listen to any recordings on the mobile device. 

    Put the device in flight mode when recording. 

    This is to prevent other applications on the device from interrupting the recording, which may result in you needing to start recording again as well as to avoid incoming calls during the recording. 

    If you are interviewing someone in connection with a research project, this is to be counted as red data until the interview has been completed, as you do not know what the respondent will say. 

    Important! If personal information emerges about matters that go beyond what you are authorized to do, the recording must be deleted and not stored in the web form. 

    Submitting a recording 

    When you have finished recording, the recording must be submitted. By logging in to Nettskjema, verify that you have received the recording. All previously submitted audio recordings are left encrypted on the device for 90 days. If you accidentally delete data in the web form or have problems uploading, you can upload the file again. 

  • Processing and listening to the audio files 

    Principle for processing data on OsloMet in accordance with OsloMet’s own storage guide 

    The following applies to audio files from Nettskjema-Diktafon 

    • Processing of red data under the category special categories or data that for other reasons are considered sensitive requires processing within TSD. 
    • Processing of red “ordinary” personal data stored in Nettskjema can be intercepted in Nettskjema, but without downloading them to a local PC. 
    • When you have finished analyzing the data, delete the recordings in Nettskjema. 
    • Remember that notes from the analysis must not be identifiable. 

    Listening and processing of the audio files 

    • Go to the “See results” tab and select “Summary of submitted answers” to view and listen to the audio files. 
    • The “Firefox” web browser is recommended for listening when there is a need to fast-forward and rewind audio recording. 
    • Only students and researchers associated with the study will listen to the recordings. 
    • If you choose to use the Nettskjema-Diktafon app or a physical dictaphone, the same security and privacy rules apply. The audio recording must never be transferred or downloaded to your private device (according to the storage guide at OsloMet). See also storing and processing information in a bachelor’s- and master's thesis for guidance on which data you can process and where. 

  • Remote recording via Zoom meeting 

    If the person you are interviewing is geographically located elsewhere, the solution is approved so that this call can be made via Zoom, however, this requires that the Zoom meeting is run on a separate device, such as your PC, and that no recording is made of the Zoom meeting itself. The recording must be made on the Nettskjema-Diktafon app (possibly the physical dictaphone). 


    • According to the storage guide at OsloMet, Zoom is not approved for recording on private equipment, only for conducting (streaming) the meeting itself. 
    • The recording must be made on the Nettskjema-Diktafon app (possibly the physical dictaphone). 
    • Always remember to inform NSD if remote recording is a part of the process. 

    Useful tips 

    • Remember to test the equipment in advance. Especially when the location of the phone considering being able to get a good audio recording of the meeting. 
    • Make sure you are sitting in a room where there are no other noise disturbances. 
    • Consider when in the meeting it is appropriate to start the audio recording regarding if you want to have an introductory presentation. 
    • Remember to cancel the recording as soon as the interview is over. 
    • Instructions for using Zoom 
  • Use of a physical dictaphone 

    A physical dictaphone is not recommended, but may be a solution for some projects where for various reasons it is not appropriate to use the Nettskjema-Diktafon app. For example, if you need the audio file for a transcription software. In such cases, there will be a requirement for OsloMet-owned equipment and an approved license. 

    A thorough assessment must be made in the project as to whether a physical dictaphone is a sound solution regarding the data classification and the further processing of the audio file. The user must adhere to the same routines that apply to employees with requirements for an external memory card (ansatt.oslomet.no).

    Do you need to borrow recording equipment? The faculty HV has their own equipment, contact your supervisor. You can also borrow recording equipment through IT service desk

  • Save in Nettskjema or TSD?

    Whether the audio files must be sent to the secure server TSD (Tjenester for Sensitive Data, Eng. Services for Secure Information) or whether the audio files can be safely stored and processed in Nettskjema depends on how sensitive information you would expect to receive in the recordings. 

    This assessment must be made in consultation with the supervisor or the person responsible for the data collection and be part of the risk assessment that the project must deliver. 

    Here one must consider both single data and the compilation of the data that the recording or recordings can provide. 

    One should also consider how many people should have access to the audio files, whether there is only a single student or whether there are several who should have access to the audio recordings. As well as how the audio files are to be further processed for possible transcription. 

    Processing of red data under the category special categories (link: https://ansatt.oslomet.no/ retningslinje-for-behandling-av-personopplysninger) and data that must be considered sensitive for other reasons requires storage in TSD, see website https://ansatt.oslomet.no/sensitive-personopplysninger. 

    If the collection is not intended to include information that is unfortunate for the individual, the institution or the person concerned in the event of a data leak, and that the security of the processing of the audio recordings is ensured, and Nettskjema is in principle a sufficient storage place for data classified as confidential (“mild red data”). 

  • Can I access TSD? 

    As of today, only the institute of physiotherapy has opened for students to obtain an account and store data in TSD. If other departments want to start student projects that require storage in TSD, a separate class set must be created for the department, with associated routines for approval and internal control of projects and data stored there.

    The supervisor must clarify the possibility of storage in TSD with the head of department in good time before the project starts. If you do not have a suitable storage location, the project should not be started. 

  • Your responsibility as student and supervisor 

    For student projects (master’s/bachelor’s theses) with audio recordings under the auspices of OsloMet, the following responsibilities apply: 

    Student supervisor (person responsible for subject and similar) 

    • is responsible for the students' use of audio recordings in the form of ensuring the privacy of respondents or informants according to the same guidelines as for other research projects. 
    • must ensure that the students receive adequate guidance, as well as inform about where the guidance is and that the established procedures in these are complied with. 

    The students also have an independent responsibility for 

    • that privacy is taken care of and is responsible for seeking assistance from the supervisor or privacy contact FoU, if there is any doubt about which guidelines apply. 
    • not to start collection or other use until the correct permit is available. 

    In many projects, it is planned that the students themselves are responsible for notifying NSD, as well as creating Nettskjema (web form), etc. It is important that the supervisor is kept informed and is part of the information flow about changes and has access to forms and saved audio recordings. The name of the supervisor must be stated in the NSD notification form. 

    For more information on how to process personal data, read about processing personal data in study assignments.