Norwegian version of this page


UiO has developed a dictaphone app for recording audio on smart phones. The app is called «Nettskjema-diktafon» and can be downloaded from Google Play and AppStore.

Before you begin

The dictaphone app will send the audio files directly into Nettskjema. For security reasons, it is not possible to play the audio recordings directly on your phone. The recording is encrypted and is temporarily stored on your phone until the phone is online (Wifi or 3/4G).

If you are conducting an interview we recommend using an extra unit as backup. You can, for example, use an iPad or another phone.

Recording length

You can only record for one hour. If you record over the limit, the recording will stop and you will get a notification telling you that the maximum file size has been reached.

If you need to make longer recordings, it is possible to start a new recording. Alternatively, on newer phones you can go to «settings» and remove the limitation.

How to use

  1. Create a questionnaire on Specify that the form will collect personal information.
  2. Add the following questions:
    1. audio file (custom fields: attachments)
    2. comment (questions with text answers)
    3. app-id (questions with text answers)
    4. (optionally «respondent id»
  3. Activate the codebook for the form by opening the settings and set «codebook activated» to «yes».
  4. Fill out the following codebook values for the fields «audio file», «comment», and «app-id» (and optionally «respondent-id», see below):
    1. recording
    2. comment
    3. app-id

NB! Only small characters in the codes!

  1. Open the form to receive answers.
  2. Make sure the form is set to receive answers from «Everybody» and that no question in the form is obligatory.
  3. Write down the form ID. The form ID is the last 5-6 numbers in the form URL.
  4. Download the Nettskjema dictaphone.
  5. Start the app and give the form ID. You are now ready to record!
  6. When the recording is done, make sure that the phone is online and that the recording has been sent to Nettskjema.
  7. Go to your Nettskjema form:
    1. The audio recording should now be available in the «see results» tab. Click «all submissions on one page» under «Submissions».
    2. You can play the audio file directly from this list, but it will not be downloaded by doing this (does not apply to TSD forms).
    3. You can also download a copy of the file and listen to it on your computer.

Format and transcription

The files are saved in MPEG4 audio format (.m4a). This format is optimized for speech and can be played on free software, like VLC media player. We recommend f4 & f5 transcript if you need a dedicated software for transcription (information in Norwegian).

Privacy and security

If you are making audio recordings for research purposes you must have an NSD/REK approval. See privacy guidelines at UiO here.

For projects that are collecting and storing/processing audio recordings with person sensitive data in connection to a research project, follow the guidelines for safe storage in TSD (nformation in Norwegian).

Activating storage in TSD

Research projects that has registered in TSD can change the settings of the app to store the audio recordings directly on the safe storage in TSD. Nettskjema is the mediator. This means that technical personnel at USIT will activate your dictaphone form for safe storage in TSD. See how to create a Nettskjema for collecting sensitive data here.

How to localize and play audio files in TSD

Respondent ID

A respondent ID is used by research projects that use disidentified IDs or serial numbers for self-reporting from respondents.

Add a regular text question in the form and name it «respondent-id». When you use the app for the first time it will prompt the user to add the ID they were given by the research project. You only have to do this the first time. The ID will be registered with every new recording made from this device.

NB! By using this method, the dictaphone app on this particular device is locked to this one ID. If you need to send to a different form, you have to uninstall and install the app.

For researchers who use the app in multiple interviews (different respondents), they can use a comment field to register ID after each recording, if needed.


For technical assistance or other questions about the Nettskjema-dictaphone, contact

Published June 27, 2019 10:22 AM - Last modified Sep. 26, 2019 8:39 PM