Monthly Archives: October 2011

Terms and Conditions, Ethics, Data Protection, Licensing, IP – Legal issues

Help - advice neededAt previous meetings we have rather skirted around all the legal issues but having looked at the  JISC Legal website and chatting with Lisa and Mary it was time to ask for help that might address the issues specifically arising at the University of Southampton  … Diana Galpin very kindly came to our rescue.

The original version of Synote has some Terms and Conditions that were designed to cover all eventualities related to the use of the service as a way of listening to lectures or replaying videos and audio discussions.  The audio and video files were held on other people’s servers and Synote just linked to the output.  The ALUIAR version of Synote rather changes the scene, although perhaps not altogether.

Scenario One

Imagine, as is the case with some members of the team, that a researcher in the Health Professions and Rehabilitation Sciences Faculty at University of Southampton is interviewing patients and wishes to record the interview. The video has to be saved in a secure space but the annotations and transcription of that video can be viewed publicly or just shared with the team or kept completely private.  upload page

The settings in both the original and new version of Synote allow for this to occur and with the new upload system in ALUIAR the video can be hosted on a Southampton server that is within the faculty’s control.  All the legal aspects that surround the video need to be dealt with by the University and the ethics dealt with by the faculty involved.

The ALUIAR team need to ensure that there is a way of allowing those who download the code to be able to make changes to contact names and to ensure alterations can be made to the Terms and Conditions to suit individual faculty needs.

Scenario Two

A researcher in another institution wishes to use the ALUIAR version of Synote – they can download the code from Source Forge but the team need to add a caveat to the repository pointing out in a sentence similar to this one … “this version of Synote is not controlled or hosted by the University Southampton, who accepts no liability for the content and materials held herein.”

In the discussions with Diana Galpin it was felt that it would be helpful to have two downloads available, one for those based in the University of Southampton and one for other institutions.   It was also felt that it would be useful to make a guide regarding what can be uploaded, including limitations as well as a usage reminder – “you are using your own recordings” etc…

source forge screen grabFinally, IP management and source code tracking was discussed with the importance of acknowledging others’ code as part of the tracking process available in the open source repository.

We owe many thanks to Diana, as she has also offered to guide us as to the suitable wording that goes onto the Synote web pages and well as in Source Forge.

Minutes from the meeting held on 13th October, 2011 – 5th ALUIAR Meeting

Meeting group

ALUIAR meeting October 13th


Received from Mary Gobbi, Lisa Harris and Lester Gilbert.

Minutes from the Meeting.

E.A provided feedback from Torsten with an overview of the final stages of the project and reporting.  It was confirmed that reports would come in the form of blogs and more information can be found on the blog about at projects “Usability Workshop – Emerging Themes from jiscUX The email that followed mentioned “a few of the headline requirements for final reports:

  • 3 final blog posts:
    • Recap – what you set out to achieve, what you didn’t achieve, why?
    • How successful have you been? What are your metrics?
    • Lessons Learned?
    • Edited version of your posts
    • Send us your final budget and complete the JISC completion survey (we will send you these documents near to the end of your project)

This was followed by a discussion around the Qualitative Data Analysis Steps (Adapted from Creswell and Burnard) that had been provided by Mary earlier in the week – see previous blog.  

It was decided that the points made in the slide should be related to our use of the ALUIAR version of Synote.   Debbie noted that the IBM transcription was not very accurate with a group,  unless each one has a microphone with clear speech –  this makes the speech recognition system rather hard to use – Most researchers are having to transcribe manually. The transcription service is only available at University of Southampton unless others wish to have a license.  The difference between working in the transcript section as opposed to the synmark area was mentioned and where coding occurs etc.

It was felt that it was important to note that the ALUIAR version of Synote will work for qualitative analysis but not in depth Conversational analysis due to the multitude of extra coding features required for a full transcription.   Conversational analysis is best done with specialist software.  However, Synote can be used with other languages (there are some problems with texts that go from right to left), it is possible to share and collaborate over open transcriptions and research projects, transcriptions can be exported along with their annotations and tags can be sorted and saved as a way of generating themes or categories.

The second half of the slide mentions more about the research side of transcriptions and Lisa said that “it is important to note that the researcher must still do the analysis and the system can only manage the data”

Yunjia then introduced the new interface for the system and there were several design features where decisions had to be made – these were captured in the photograph below.  Some buttons and actions in the list of recordings needed moving, a rich text editor with a chance to colour code annotations was requested and Footpedal control only needed for stop and nudge back.  The ability to upload images was felt to be important and the possibility of being able to use the play controls wherever one is in the transcription or synmarks (annotations)

white board notes

White board notes

A walk through of the new interface was completed with a promise to provide the URL in the next two weeks so that we can begin the interviews for the final phase of evaluations with at least 5 users.  Each interviewee will be provided with a consent form so that we can share comments and a chance to try the new version of Synote before the meeting.

Synote screen grabSynote Guide as the public version
ALUIAR Synote screen shotALUIAR Synote with a recording 







There will be a meeting with Diana Galpin as the University’s Legal Adviser to cover all aspects of ethics, privacy and other legal issues involved with the change of use of Synote although as in the past Synote itself will not be hosting the recordings – these are held on the users’ chosen server, whether this is a private one, belongs to a faculty with security settings or is public but offers a URL link as in the case of YouTube.  All transcriptions and annotations have chosen permission levels and once again Synote can be held on a secure server for each Faculty or University.

The meeting was wrapped up with final thanks to Yunjia for all his work on the project and a decision to have the interviews with researchers in the early weeks of November once new features and further testing of the new interface has been completed. The URL for the new version will be sent out with suggested dates for interviews.

Next meeting – to be advised on Doodle.

New Interface and coding analysis – 5th Meeting Agenda

title slide for data analysisThe next meeting will be held on October 13th from 2-3pm in the Access Grid Room, Building 32 level 3.


Mary Gobbi.


  • Feedback from meeting with Torsten
  • Data Analysis discussion  – Mary is unable to come to the meeting but as can be seen above and below she has kindly sent us her thoughts on a schema of data analysis for traditional transcriptions.
Qualitative Data Analysis Steps (Adapted from Creswell and Burnard)

Qualitative Data Analysis Steps (Adapted from Creswell and Burnard)

  • New interface presented by Yunjia  – Interview recordings from another project have been collected that will be used by E.A. to test the system along with any carried out by other researchers.  The evaluation phase will be discussed with times for meetings and further testing of the system.
  • Data Protection, Ethics and other legalities to be discussed
  • Foot pedal control
  • AOB and date of next meeting.