Death of Transcribers: Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Professional Transcriptionist

Warning: if you are a transcriber STOP!!! Reading the rest of this post might be harmful to your health. In a year’s time, a new app will be launched that is going to be the death of ALL transcribers. In a year’s time we are all going to be out of a job.  Sad, but true. Here’s why. A couple of years ago I contacted Baynes – a Ukrainian Mathematics graduate student at Kiev University who moonlights as a app creator on Elance,  to create an interactive transcript app. Unfortunately , and mainly due to some technological limitations, we were not able to complete the app. I did not recognize the omen; unfinished projects usually come back to haunt you! We however kept in touch, we shared a common love for Sherlock Holmes – especially the new BBC series, which is awesome. But I digress. I got in touch with Baynes a month ago to… Continue reading…

Reviewing Transcripts for Accuracy: The Ideal vs The Practical

Reviewing Tractipes for accuracy and integrity

There are many methods for ensuring transcription accuracy. For example, a concordance assessment involves two typists independently transcribing an interview and then comparing the two transcripts. However, it is rare that a researcher has the resources for acquiring the time of two typists for one transcript. Ideally a researcher would have access to as much time and personnel as is necessary to ensure data accuracy and integrity. However, a researcher must balance the ideal with practical considerations of time and funding limits. Thus, an optimal strategy is typically used wherein each interview is transcribed by a professional and then proofread by the interviewer. Research projects involving intensive data collection, however, often delegate this review process to another team member other than the primary interviewer. Training Transcription Proofreaders  The training of proofreaders should be modified to fit the research project and will vary with research structure, setting, type and volume of data, and the analytical approach… Continue reading…

Qualitative Data Collection and Transcription Errors

Common Transcription and Qualitative Data collection erros and how to avoid them

What are the most common qualitative data collection and transcription errors? Read on and find out how you can avoid them. Pitfalls and problems occur in every type of research, but rarely are they discussed in the realm of transcription.  Easton, McComish, and Greenberg’s article Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Qualitative Data Collection and Transcription, published in Qualitative Health Research, casts light on the common problems in transcribing qualitative research data, including three categories: equipment failure, environmental hazards, and transcription errors. Equipment Failure As a researcher, chances are in at least one research interview, there will be some type of equipment failure.  Whether the recorder or camera stops working, batteries die, electricity goes out, or any number of other issues, something is bound to happen at least once in numerous interviews.  Thus, researchers are forced to go back to the old standard of a pen and pencil in this case, if the problem is caught in… Continue reading…

Variation in Transcription Practice; What’s an accurate transcription?

Accurate Transcription Services

Consider a conversation you had earlier in the day with at least three other people.  Imagine if you had to transcribe it, creating an accurate transcription of that exact conversation.  Do you believe that each person would record the conversation the same?  Every person brings a unique viewpoint, both socially and culturally. It is not to say that these variations are errors or inaccuracy in transcription or a result of faulty transcribers.  Quite the contrary, it is simply inevitable.  Mary Bucholtz in her article Variation in Transcription, published in Discourse Studies in 2007, discusses transcription as a “sociocultural practice of representing discourse”  ( p. 785 ). It is not only the language and words that are being written, but also the manner in which they are written that is worth studying.  She identifies four ways that an accurate transcription may represent the same spoken discourse, for instance research interviews,  in different contexts when transcribed: variation… Continue reading…