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Building an app for ethnographic remote recording

In the wake of COVID-19, many research programs that relied on face-to-face interactions with participants were upended, and researchers across disciplinary boundaries had to pivot to digital methods. For humanities researchers working with long duration recordings or ethnographic work, this has been a particular challenge: most web app solutions limit audio recording times to around 5 minutes, but many ethnographic projects require recordings of up to an hour or more long. Thanks to a NEH Digital Humanities Advancement Grant (#HAA-284835), the Ethnographic Remote Recording project builds on a mobile app (for iOS and Android) solution successfully developed for one project (MI Diaries), with the goal of publishing the app code and installation instructions open-source, so that anyone can easily build their own remote recording app for their own research.

Drawing together an advisory committee of humanities researchers from different fields, we aim to redevelop the existing mobile app to include features useful to a wide variety of fields. 

Phase 1

An interdisciplinary advisory board will get together with our design and coding team, to provide input on how a remote recording app would best help their research. In the first year (2022-2023), the advisory committee will beta test the app for their own use, with the support of our tech team.

Phase 2

In the second year (2023-2024), we’ll publish the app code and installation how-to! Our tech team will still be on premises to help troubleshoot problems.