Visual informed consent: informed consent without forms

Rico Lie*, Loes Witteveen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The notion of visual informed consent (VIC) is developed in the context of capturing on film the clarification of the purpose of data collection, the use of information obtained, and the rights, risks and benefits of participation on the one hand, and the registration of the participant’s understanding of this and of given consent on the other. VIC seeks to replace the paper-based informed consent procedure in situations where data are collected and used visually. Filming informed consent offers several benefits as compared to working with written forms, whereby the bureaucratic concerns for documented and ‘signed’ informed consent are given priority over the right to be informed. Based on empirical research in a context of film productions in the global South, this article documents the exploration of VIC’s potential and illustrates its procedure and relevance. Our ambition is to elucidate the VIC concept because of the increasing use of visual data in social science research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-75
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • film
  • qualitative field research
  • research ethics
  • Visual informed consent
  • visual problem appraisal


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