Consent for data sharing

Informed consent is an ethical requirement for most research and must be considered and implemented throughout the research lifecycle, from planning to publication to sharing.

Failure to properly address issues of consent may restrict the opportunities for initial use of data, the publishing of your results and the sharing of the data.


Audio-visual recordings or photographs can be handled by the same kind of consent procedures as other research materials. Similar information sheets and consent forms which include explicit consent for publication and data sharing can be used.

Consent should be obtained to use unaltered data for research purposes - including the sharing and reuse of data. It may be tempting to explore digital manipulation as a way of removing personal identifiers to anonymise audio-visual material. However, there are significant disadvantages to this:

  • Techniques such as voice alteration and image blurring are labour-intensive and expensive to apply for large quantities of data
  • Data alteration is likely to damage the research potential of data, for example distorted speech can significantly reduce the research value of a recorded interview and blurring faces represents a major loss of information where facial expressions might be of interest

Our model consent form and this example consent form shows how you can seek consent for sharing of audio-visual data separately from consent for sharing textual data.

Informing participants

Back to top