How To Format A Citation To Apa Style In References Finding Affordable Transcription for Research Interviews

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Finding Affordable Transcription for Research Interviews

If you’ve done some research, including individual interviews, and then realized the amount of work involved in transcribing it, you’re probably looking for an affordable transcription service. There are many transcription services available, but sometimes an affordable transcription service can seem difficult to find. Transcription isn’t cheap, because it’s a lot more complicated than copywriting, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find affordable transcription, and by providing good quality recordings you can make transcription more affordable, as it will less to complete.

You can do the transcription yourself, but if you are not a fast typist and do not have specialized transcription equipment, it will take a long time. I’ve had clients come to me saying they started the job themselves and it took them 20 hours to produce a transcript of a 1 hour recording. That’s why they ended up using a transcription service!

The most important thing to remember is that it is not possible to type as fast as you speak. Even an experienced transcriber will be able to average four times as long for a good, clear one-on-one interview, so an hour of recording will take an average of four hours to transcribe. (Industry standards taken from Industry Production Standards Guide (I998), published by OBC, Columbus, OH, USA) Transcribers also have to make sense of what is said, punctuate speech correctly, and use correct homophones (words like there/ their / are the same but spelled differently.)

So how can you make sure your transcription is clear for an affordable transcription price? Basically, the easier it is for the transcriber to transcribe, the more likely they will be able to provide you with an affordable transcription quote.

First of all, use the best transcription equipment you can afford and make sure it’s fit for purpose. This means that for interviews you must have a recording with an external microphone rather than a built-in recorder, which is only designed to capture voice dictation. For focus groups you should have multiple microphones so that all participants are close to one microphone, and for conferences speakers should have good microphones and there should also be people in the audience with ‘roving’ microphones to take any member of the audience whatever you want ask a question

More and more transcribers are only taking on digital work now, rather than making tapes, so to give yourself the widest base to choose from, you may want to consider using a digital recording method. These are also usually of better quality.

Next, you should prepare well before every interview. Make sure you have a quiet meeting room if possible, as background noise will dramatically increase the time it takes to transcribe the recording, as the transcriber may have to listen to sections multiple times to capture the interview speech. It is useful to write the name of the interviewee at the beginning of the tape, before you start the interview, and to say any information you want at the head of the transcript, for example the date, the title of your interviewee, etc.

During the interview, unless you need to interrupt to regain control of the interview, try not to talk about your interviewee. Often in normal conversation we say “yes, yes, yes” or “correct” or “OK” more to indicate that we are listening than for any other reason. Every time you say that you are likely hiding a much more important word or group of words that your interviewee is saying.

After the interview, it is very helpful if you can include a list of key words for the transcriber. While we are happy to do a ‘Google hunt’, scouring the Internet to find out how to spell technical terms, drug names, organization names, etc., if you can provide this information in advance, it will certainly save you time and save you time. money, getting back to that goal of an affordable transcription price. Technical work will always be more expensive than non-technical work, but providing a “cradle sheet” of keywords should reduce the cost.

Most transcribers work in a standard format, be it tables, tabs, interviews displayed as initials or full names, etc. Again, most are happy to work to your specifications, but standard format can be cheaper, so think carefully about whether or not you need something different. Find out in advance what the standard format is if you’re concerned, and you can adapt it to your needs. If, for example, it is essential that you have speakers with different fonts or colors, this will increase the price. It might be more cost effective for you to put this in when the basic transcript is returned to you.

Finally, give serious thought to whether or not you need a verbatim transcript. The verbatim transcript includes every repeated word, every “um” and “erm”, all those “filler” phrases like “you know” and “you know what I mean” that can be repeated a hundred times in an interview, and may also include pauses , cough, throat clearing, etc. if needed. Needless to say, this takes longer. If the transcriber can filter out all these things, the transcription is faster. At my company the cheapest tier is what we call “smart verbatim,” which removes all of these fillers but leaves the rest exactly as spoken. However, different transcriptionists work this differently, so always check when you’re calling to get your quote. Here are some brief examples. Some more expensive editing is done, which corrects grammar and mispronounced words, as well as removing all filler.

verbatim: Um… well, I don’t really know, you know what I mean? I mean, you know, when I asked them what Mary’s, um, condish, condit, condition was, they said, “I’m afraid we can’t, uh, tell you that, Mrs. Smith, because you’re not related.

Intelligent Verbatim: Well, I don’t know. I mean when I asked them what Mary’s condition was, they said, “I’m afraid we can’t tell you that, Mrs. Smith, because she’s not familiar.”

Edited: Well I don’t really know. I mean when I asked them what Mary’s status was, they said, “I’m afraid we can’t tell you that, Mrs. Smith, because she’s not a relative.”

You can see that an extra line of typing is needed for literal work in just those few short sentences.

There are occasions when it is required verbatim; depending on your topic, it may be required for legal reasons or you may be studying the language. But if you really don’t need it, don’t end up paying for it!

There are many excellent reasons to interview groups of people, but don’t do it in an attempt to reduce the cost of transcription. It takes much longer to transcribe a group of more than two or three people (including the moderator/interviewer) because of the time it takes to distinguish different voices and the fact that people will inevitably talk over each other, especially when they get excited. enthusiastic, passionate or angry.

And finally, a note of caution: remember that the cheapest transcription quote may not be the most affordable in the end. There is an oft-quoted phrase: if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. Is it really worth it to send your hard-earned interviews to the cheapest service if all you get back is gobbledygook and you have to go through everything correcting every other word? How much time will you then waste that could have been spent more productively on your analysis?

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