Are you a student in the midst of a thesis or dissertation; a professional researcher swamped with bulk interview and focus groups; or a research assistant tasked with hours of menial transcription work along with other pressing tasks?
Everything just piles up, right? And it gets harder by the minute as your deadline draws nearer everyday. The academic community and professional research world are pressed enough for time without the extra struggle of doing tedious, time-consuming work like transcriptions.
This ultimate guide to transcriptions is developed for researchers like yourself to find the ideal solution for your sizeable transcription needs. Feel free to navigate quickly to the section most helpful to you:
Research transcriptions refer to the conversion of audio or video files of interviews, focus groups, or dictations to text documents. Rich insights are easily accessed, shared, and archived by researchers like you via transcripts which will primarily save you time and enable you to immediately scrutinize data and write reports. The transcription format has to match up to the methodological and analytic purpose of your research.
The sole purpose of transcription is to provide researchers an accessible format of gathered information from in-depth interviews, focus groups, lectures, speeches, podcasts, and seminars - throw in dictation notes as well, as researchers sometimes prefer recording their thoughts every after interview session when their memory is still fresh.
However, whether or not you will need transcriptions for your project depends on the nature of your research. Here are the two basic types of research:
As you may have identified already, primary research have strong descriptive and qualitative qualities needing research transcriptions for easy identification and dissection of information, while secondary research does not. However, academic researches like thesis and dissertations often consist of a combined effort of primary and secondary research. Citations, by way of footnotes or references, from secondary sources with high authority strengthen the credibility of your findings and at the same time prevents you from getting accused of plagiarism - borrowing another researcher’s or author’s words and ideas without any form of acknowledgment.
Research is downright time consuming. The process is so unpredictable that you cannot really afford to cut corners. Having a good Internet connection makes research work easier, but there is just no good substitute for academic research best practices.
Academic research must be carried out systematically. Digging in various sources of information in a disorderly fashion will basically leave you missing most of the important insights along with several bits of crucial information. This kind of approach will most likely be a cause of delay to your project or even worse - unreliable research findings. For this very reason researchers always put transcriptions at the front-lines when conducting qualitative research studies. Here are the main benefits of using transcriptions for research:
There’s a slight disadvantage here too, that is if you choose to utilize dirt cheap machine-generated transcription services. Even though automated transcriptions can generate transcripts in minutes, its accuracy is still deemed as debatable and may result to a disastrous experience.
Transcripts serve colossal purposes in which many kinds of research benefit from. Here are the many ways transcriptions can aid the different types of research according to its purpose:
Every qualitative study mentioned above gather data by video or audio recording interviews, focus groups, and the like. These are then transcribed into a written format to give the author or researcher the flexibility of thoroughly assessing gathered information. Transcription is the first, vital step of looking into data.
Transcriptions may seem like an easy task, but actually it is quite difficult to do - not to mention time consuming - especially if you, your research assistant, or intern does not have any training and enough experience doing transcriptions. Still attempting to do so often leads to time wastage and low-level transcripts. This is one of the reasons why hiring a transcribing service is the most convenient solution.
People’s nature of practicality is strong, especially when there are a lot of alternatives available in the market. Afterall, why pay for a service if you can get the same outcome for free?
Speech-to-text technology have become people’s go-to for transcriptions nowadays. It’s always the first thing on their list - it’s free, fast, and accessible. However, while the development of speech-to-text is impressive, it still has a long way to go to master the art of transcriptions. Automated transcripts seem to be always hardly accurate. Softwares are too sensitive to audio statics and background noises. And even if you are able to provide a spotless recording, accents and speed of speech will make your transcript hard to fathom.
This is why countless of researchers are still patriots of transcription services powered by human transcriptionists who have undergone intense training and have immense experience in serving the many needs of researchers conducting diverse qualitative studies worldwide. General transcription companies know what you need and have perfected the service that best suit it. No need to worry about the cost, there are many equipped transcribing services out there offering expert services at a price within either a professional or student’s budget.
You can find a lot of transcribing services out there in the market, but only a few can cater to personalized academic research transcriptions. Identify what your needs are, your project requirements, and how you can maximize transcripts for research or any possible re-purposing, then leave the rest to the transcription provider of your choosing.
Primary features you could hunt for when choosing the perfect transcription company are:
Keep everything in mind and you will surely find the perfect research transcription service for your project.
Converting visual and audible data into a written format is a fully interpretive process which is one of the first steps of looking at data. Plenty of researchers know that transcriptions are highly useful, as these greatly help them save time. Research transcripts are formatted in a reader-friendly format, enabling researchers to instantly analyze results of data collection procedures.
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