3 Tips for Recording Research Interviews

Recoridng Research Interviews

Recording research interviews is a great way to capture qualitative data in thesis or dissertation research and ensures descriptive validity. While taking notes and writing down your observations is important, it’s likely you’re going to miss out on some details. An audio recording of an interview also allows you to refer back to the interview and take a fresh look at the interview data, these are some of the advantages of recording interviews in qualitative research. While recording an interview can be as easy as placing your iPhone on the table and tapping record, researchers tend to underestimate the challenges of getting an interview recording with good audio quality. This, coupled with the fact that the descriptive validity of qualitative data is directly related to the quality of the recording, means that researcher need to pay closer attention to how they record their research interviews. Why is audio quality so important?  When transcribing interviews, the… Continue reading…

NVivo Transcription Services

Nvivo Transcription Services

Let me take you back to the beginning of this millennium, when I conducted my first qualitative research (bear with me, this is a short story in lieu of why we provide NVivo transcription services). I interviewed 6 key informants. Recorded the 1-on-1 interviews using a mini tape recorder – lots of background noise. Had a horrid time transcribing the 6 interviews. Ultimately, I had about 150 pages of transcripts and it was time to code and analyze the data. My “codus” operandi involved 1) printing the transcripts 2) re-reading the transcripts while making notes on the edges, highlighting writing codes. 3) Cutting up the transcripts and trying to place these cut up strips into categories/themes. On one occasion, I had everything categorized and spread out on the living room carpet and left it overnight. You can imagine my horror the morning after, when I found all my transcript strips neatly piled up on the… Continue reading…

How to Record Phone Interviews

Record phone interviews

Update: Here’s a more recent post on how to record phone interviews.  Conducting research interviews over the phone and the internet has become really popular. Mainly because of the widespread use of smart phones and web based services (for instance freeconferencecall.com and Skype). If you conduct your research interviews over the phone it’s important to record them. Why?  Increase the rigor of you research by getting your research interviews transcribed  Allows you to focus on the engagement with the interviewee.  Avoid note taking Here are a few things to keep in mind when recording phone interviews Know and obey the law: The laws for recording phone interviews vary from state to state, but they all require at a minimum that you inform the interviewee. As you are recording research interviews, your IRB requires that you get written consent to record the interview. Keep in mind that consent should be granted before you start recording the… Continue reading…

How to convert your research interviews from wav to mp3 files

Interview Transcription

Once you have conducted your research interviews, it’s time to get them transcribed. First you need to get them to your transcriber. If you recorded your interviews in a wav format, which is what I recommend you do, so that you have the best audio quality possible, their file sizes will be huge. As large as 2GB for an hour long interview. And if you have 50+ interview then you’ll need a lot of storage space. To reiterate, it is imperative to record your research interviews in an uncompressed format (wav) so that you can have the best quality audio for archival purposes. You can record your interviews straight to a compress format, for instance mp3, but you never know what use you’ll have for your data in the future. Maybe you’ll want to perform a conversational analysis. The only downside to wav files is their relatively large size, they are cumbersome to share with… Continue reading…

When Should You Get Your Dissertation Interviews Transcribed?

Dissertation Interviews Transcription

Recently, I received this email from a doctoral student. “I am in a bit of a bind. I have just defended my dissertation, and I have two committee members who will not pass me, because I coded directly on my audio instead of transcribing. They are now requiring transcripts in order for me to pass. I have approximately 206 minutes of audio that I need transcribed in naturalistic form with timestamps. Can you help?” I realized that some researches don’t know when they should get their dissertation interviews transcribed. Obviously not after you have defended your dissertation. While the above scenario is a rare case, I am constantly asked by doctoral students when they should share their dissertation interviews for transcription. They usually get in touch wishing to know if they should send me the recording(s) of their audio interviews as they conduct them, in batches, or when they are done conducting the interviews. The… Continue reading…

Intelligent Verbatim Transcription

Intelligent Verbatim Transcription

“[A] transcript is a text that ‘re’-presents an event; it is not the event itself. Following this logic, what is re-presented is data constructed by a researcher for a particular purpose, not just talk written down.” (GREEN et al. 1997, p.172) Intelligent verbatim transcription, also known as clean transcripts, isa popular style of transcription that represents recorded speech into text while editing out the fillers and repetitions that may distract from getting at the content of the interview. And this is because interview subjects do not speak coherently in normal speech. We repeat words, have a lot of filler expressions such as ah, um, pause to think and use words like yeah, you know as a way to express ourselves or creating emphasis. An intelligent verbatim transcript attempts to capture what was said rather than how it was said. The main priority being content and “voice”, while leaving out repeated words and fillers. The aim… Continue reading…

3 Ways To Share Your Research Interviews With Your Transcriber

How to share your qualitative data with academic transcription services

Sharing your recorded research interviews with your transcriber can be a mind boggling task. And more often than not the challenge is the size of the audio/video files. Those “file is too big, cannot send” email messages are really annoying, especially after recording high quality audio interviews. So how do you easily and securely share your interview audio recordings with your transcriber? Cloud storage. Cloud storage is a data storage model that stores the digital data in logical pools in multiple online servers and locations. A hosting company owns and manages the physical environment – usually a large data center. Sounds complicated? Not really. Basically, the cloud storage provider creates a html link to the file(s). Simply email this link to your transcriber and they will be able to download the audio file and transcribe it. All you need to access the data is internet connection. Most cloud storage providers offer varying free and paid plans.… Continue reading…

How To Transcribe an Interview for Dissertation – Part 2

How to Transcribe interview for dissertation

“[I]t is a truism to note that all transcription is in some sense interpretation …” (Cook, 1990, p.12) In the first post (read!) of this 2 part series on how to transcribe an interview for dissertation, I gave you on overview of the transcription process, equipment you’ll need, 3 ways to transcribe your interviews and made a few remarks on accuracy of the transcripts and audio quality. In this second and final post in this series on how to transcribe academic interviews for dissertation I get into the minutia of transcription. How do you transcribe? What are the different ways you can transcribe your thesis interviews (with examples)? How do you transcribe interviews for dissertation? Speaker Identification How do you transcribe, what do you do when you are transcribing. Well things you need to think about as you transcribe are first the names of respondents. It is useful to just use a standard format for entering… Continue reading…

How to Transcribe an Interview for Dissertation – Part 1

How to Transcribe interview for dissertation

“[I]t is a truism to note that all transcription is in some sense interpretation …” (Cook, 1990, p.12) In summary, here is how you transcribe your research interviews. DIY – Do(ing) it Yourself Hire a Professional Transcriber Use Software. In this first post of a 2 part series on how to transcribe an interview for dissertation, I’ll start with a brief overview of the thesis transcription process. Then discuss in-depth the 3 ways to transcribe your research interviews. And finally make a few remarks on accuracy of the transcripts and audio quality. Why Transcripts Before I start talking about how to transcribe your dissertation interviews, just why do it? The reason we do it is because usually we find it much easier to work with a transcript rather than a recording. Now these days it’s very easy to have an audio or video recording of your interviews; digital recorders and digital cameras make the whole… Continue reading…

Psychotherapy Verbatim Transcription Guide

psychotherapy verbatim transcription guide

A while back I wrote a post about general verbatim transcription convections that I use. However, I am always open to creating a verbatim transcription rules for clients. Recently a psychotherapist got in touch looking for a verbatim transcription of a session using the psychotherapy transcription standards published in 1992 in the Psychotherapy Research Journal by Mergenthaler and Stinson. The first step was to create a transcript guide that followed the standards published in 1992 for transcripts in 2015. Luckily, there were very little changes that needed to be done. Here’s the guide that we created closely following Mergenthaler and Stinson (1992) and hopefully it is of use to you. Psychotherapy Verbatim Transcription Guide What To Transcribe? Verbal utterances: All words spoken as whole words or parts of words are to be reproduced in standard spelling. Dialect forms should be transcribed in their corresponding standard spelling forms. For example, if an English speaking person’s usual… Continue reading…