As qualitative research has evolved, researchers now often combine interviews with the production of photographs, artefacts, collages, maps or drawings and the like. However, in practice, the artefacts produced are used to eliciting experiences and stimulating conversations rather than as data, per se, which is often due to the lack of guidelines for how to deal with the artefacts as data in a systematic analytical process. In this article, we present the Systematic Visuo-Textual Analysis, a framework developed to provide much-needed support for qualitative researchers in analysing artefacts in combination with interviews. Drawing on existing frameworks for visual and textual analysis the focus of this framework is to analyse visual and textual datasets separately and in conjunction with one another through several levels of interpretation from noticing descriptive elements and focussing on specific linguistic and artistic elements through to developing conceptual themes. Drawing on examples from our own research, we will demonstrate the practical application of the Systematic Visuo-Textual Analysis.


arts-based research, qualitative methods, photo elicitation, artefacts, objects, metaphors, visual research

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Nicole Brown is a Lecturer in Education at UCL Institute of Education and Director of Social Research & Practice and Education Ltd. Her research interests relate to research methods, physical and material representations, metaphors, and approaches to explore identity and body work. Nicole has edited Lived Experiences of Ableism in Academia: Strategies for Inclusion in Higher Education and Ableism in Academia: Theorising Experiences of Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses in Higher Education. She has authored How to Make the Most of Your Research Journal and co-authored Embodied Inquiry: Research Methods. Please direct your correspondence to nicole.brown@ucl.ac.uk.

Dr. Jo Collins is Postgraduate Development Advisor at Kent’s Graduate School. She supports doctoral students and is a GTA developer, researching into doctoral emotion work, and how creative methods can aid reflection. Please direct your correspondence to j.p.collins@kent.ac.uk.

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