Skip to main content

Should You Use Transcriptions for Academic Research? Things To Consider First: A Guide for Academic Universities and the use of Transcriptions for Academic Research


What is Academic Research?

Download the eGuide

Academic research is described as a structured investigation of a specific issue or condition with the intention of identifying facts and opinions to solve problems and how to deal with a situation. These types of research are commonly conducted in academic research universities.  The investigation is typically led by a Primary Investigator (PI) and comprises other researchers, including assistants or associate professors, Ph.D. students, people doing postdocs, and undergraduates.

Academic research may fall into three categories:

  • Basic Research – is also called pure research or fundamental research. This type of research aims to understand a subject better or improve scientific theories.
  • Clinical Research – this is a type of research whose primary purpose is to study the health and illness in people, including the safety and efficacy of medications, devices, diagnostic products, and treatment regimens.
  • Population-Based Research – a type of research study where a group of individuals is selected from a general population who share common characteristics such as age, sex, race, or health condition.

Academic research studies are usually intended to create knowledge and are not designed to benefit a specific company or organization. It is also designed to be from a voice of authority and can change how people view the research topic. For this reason, it is always held to a high standard.


What do Research Universities do, and how do they operate?

Research universities usually work a lot like large businesses. They have a controller (PI) responsible for managing all vendor relationships and will try to consolidate them as much as possible. Universities usually have their preferred vendors listed, but if the PI and the researchers would want to work with a vendor that isn’t on their list, they must first seek approval. 

Conducting research may also be considered an expensive affair. Therefore, researchers require funds to support their investigation. A research grant is a funding procedure instituted by various agencies and organizations to provide research universities money that they will use for their research. Research universities may get funding for research in two ways:

  • Research universities may do grant writing, where part of their proposal would include a preliminary budget that would list down all the items the grant money will be used for.  It would also include the approach a university may take to carry out its research.
  • Funding agencies like NIH or PCORI would propose a research question on a general category where different universities may apply.  Each funding agency has its own set of Submission Guidelines that researchers must adhere to when submitting their letters of intent.

As soon as the grant has been approved, research universities may provide the team of researchers and the PI with the space they need to do their research. These include offices, libraries, laboratories, and other equipment. A large proportion of the grant money will be handed over to the university to cover all the overhead expenses, while the rest of the funding will be used to compensate the research team members. 


What professional services do Academic Research Universities utilize?

The use of professional services for academic research would vary depending on the area of study and projects researchers are working on. Some services would include:

  • Software packages or services for website development and videos and graphic design that would showcase the nature of their research and their findings.
  • Lab works for scientific and medical research. Researchers may also rely on third-party vendors to do advanced analysis for specimens if the equipment needed is not available on site.
  • Academic transcription services for quick data referencing and putting qualitative data and information into a text-based format.


How do researchers in research universities prepare their budget for transcriptions?

When writing grant proposals, researchers and universities submit a preliminary budget to organizations or funding agencies that details their  spending allocation during research conduction.  

One of the things that researchers can add to their budget is transcriptions. A transcript is a written version of a recorded interview. It not only captures who said what in an interview, but it provides researchers with a quick way to go back to any detail mentioned without having to listen to the whole recording.

Researchers and research universities could approach budgeting for the involvement of transcriptions for research differently.  This would determine the budget they are going to allocate for the service.

Not all research studies require a ton of transcription work, and some may not even need any at all. If researchers spend less on transcription services, they could allocate more funds to other research areas, such as getting more people interviewed to get a larger sample size.


What are the benefits of using Academic Transcription Services?

Academic research, in general, is such a vast topic. Certain aspects or fields of the spectrum could use transcription services, and they could be regarded as an essential tool for the research. Accuracy and quality are the main reasons transcriptions are crucial, especially for medical or qualitative research. These two are necessary because universities pay excellent value for using transcription services for their research. They wouldn’t mind paying a premium for transcription services, especially if it produces accurate content. Suppose the transcript quality is low; in that case, the researcher may need to allocate a lot of time and effort to correct the transcripts, which might be costlier than opting for the premium transcription service that provides better accuracy.  

Aside from accuracy and quality, these other factors would also make transcription services vital and beneficial for academic research.

  • It saves time – Time management during the conduction of research is critical. By turning to transcription services, researchers would be able to devote their hours to other important things rather than doing the laborious task of transcribing the interviews on their own. 
  • It makes the research productive – Funding and grant organizations certainly want to see researchers becoming frugal with their provided funds. With transcriptions, researchers would demonstrate that they’re capable of doing more work with the resources given, allowing them to conduct more interviews and produce more transcripts. 
  • It captures every detail – Having the interview transcribed, most especially done by human transcribers, would help researchers quickly identify all the critical notes raised during an interview discussion. 
  • It facilitates quick information retrieval – With academic research transcriptions, searching and confirming data from interview recordings would be much more efficient. Researchers could highlight the keynotes and items discussed during the interview on their transcripts for quick and easy data referencing.
  • It makes the research content easily accessible – Research studies are usually conducted in pairs or groups. Sharing the information gathered during data collection would be more straightforward since transcripts can be distributed to everyone involved in the research. Gathering information from previous studies can also be referenced easily through transcripts for proper backup and comparison, especially when the research leans more towards surveys and statistics. 
  • It makes the message become more relatable to people – Language barriers could be a factor why a research may only be accessible to selected people. With transcription companies offering translation services, it broadens the scope of study and allows the researchers to conduct interviews with people regardless of their race, culture, and language. Research universities can simply send the interview recordings to transcription companies and have them translated or transcribed from their source language.


How Do Researchers Choose Who To Interview?

Part of the research planning involves data collection, and one of the ways to collect data is usually done through interviews. The subjects for the interviews would depend on the nature of the study or research conducted. For example, when an analysis focuses on medical interventions, researchers may choose to interview medical field experts such as surgeons and anesthesiologists. But, when the research is categorized as generic, researchers may go out to the community or an area outside the university to recruit for respondents. They could also send an email blast to the university to get people to volunteer for the study. 


What types of research studies could benefit from using transcriptions?

The importance of hiring transcription services to assist professors and researchers could be leveraged depending on the field of study of the research they are making. There are several ways a researcher may translate their findings into a research paper, or it could be presented depending on the needs and the purpose that their research may serve. To narrow it down, transcriptions are better utilized for research studies such as:

  • Qualitative interviews and research where researchers may want to have a transcript for all interviews conducted with respondents for analysis purposes.
  • Academic or scientific research related to machine learning, where machine learning may contribute to solving complex issues such as, for example, neuroscience and neurology.
  • Clinical trial studies where research could take place in a medical or other clinical settings. These types of research may include discussions and interviews about experimental treatment and interventions for certain illnesses or diseases.  

However, there are certain research studies where transcripts may not be required, and these types of research may be centered more on mathematical figures or data science. This condition could still be changed when researchers might look at particular algorithms that machine learning may play a huge influence, mainly if the problem they’re looking at and trying to solve revolves around speech-to-text engines.


How would transcriptions contribute to the outcome of the research?

Funding organizations such as NIH or PCORI may be interested in supporting trendy research topics, and they would like to keep an eye on themes that they want to pour their funding into. Researchers may use the results of their research in various ways, and transcriptions still play a vital role in their research outcomes. An example of this could be demonstrated in recent years when research organizations have delved deep into breast cancer research and the creation and advancement of tools that breast surgeons could use to help patients understand their alternatives from a treatment perspective. Recently, the funding for research has been invested heavily in COVID as researchers are continuously pivoting their research into looking at tools and aids that can help people understand the risks and benefits of taking vaccines, as well as the advancement of the overall treatment plan for those that are exposed to the virus. The transcripts produced from these types of studies were used as a backbone by researchers and are published and translated into medical books and journals, which can be easily referenced and accessed by medical researchers and physicians worldwide. 

Transcriptions also act as a tool for quick information referencing and for the creation of visual aids that may support physicians when talking to patients during the communication process. This includes making visual aids to take the complicated terminologies out of the conversation and explain treatment options and diagnosis more straightforward and accessible for regular people or those without a medical or scientific background.

Future researchers can also credit past studies through transcriptions preserved in academic papers, periodicals, and magazines. Documents such as these are usually archived and are accessible through the catalogs of the libraries inside research universities or other related institutions.



The use of transcriptions for research and research universities would aid in delivering colossal progress and development for new and helpful inventions, medical advancements, and other significant scientific and technological discoveries. By utilizing transcription services that produce top-notch work, such as TranscriptionWing, research universities will be able to do more with the funding they receive and pave the way for these advancements.

Leave a Reply