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Conducting academic research? You need an experienced transcription company on board.

There are many transcription formats and templates that are used across a wide variety of professions as a part of everyday specialised work. Many medical, legal, media and finance companies have their own in-house templates which they require transcriptionists to follow.

Transcription for the purposes of research, such as transcribed focus group conversations and interviews for analysis, also may require a different template, specific to the needs of the researcher and the qualitative analysis software you might be using.

This article takes the mystery out of seeking transcription services for research purposes, by explaining step-by-step what you need to know, and which issues are important for your individual needs.

How do transcription companies determine the cost of transcription for research?

Pacific Transcription takes into account a variety of factors to determine audio file difficulty. Common considerations include: quality of audio, length of audio particularly where there are a large number of speakers, complexity of language being used including dense, industry-specific terminology, and whether accents are strong.

Research transcription is also roughly divided into two categories: Interview Transcription and Focus Group Transcription, which also is a determining factor for cost. Interview transcription generally covers conversations with one to three participants. Focus Group transcription is more complex, often with a larger number of interviewees, and many or may not require detailed identification of each speaker.

What are some other factors I need to consider for transcription of my research?

Recording device – Transcription can only be as good as the quality of audio provided. Whether you hire or purchase, it is worth investing time and money in a good quality product, because it will save you in the long run. The Olympus DM-3 is a great all-rounder digital voice recorder for focus groups and interviews. Consider attaching external microphones if you have a larger group of people to record.


Grant budget – It is useful to get a quote using a fixed price per minute of recorded audio, which allows you to cater for your grant application. It might also be beneficial to arrange a pre-payment for budgeting purposes, and to request the transcription service invoice your university or research association directly, so you can concentrate on your research at hand, rather than the details of financial arrangements and payments. Ask your transcription company if they offer discounts for postgraduate students and not-for-profits, this helps make transcription even more affordable on a tight budget.

Specialised Terminology – Choose a transcriptionist and/or transcription service that appreciates, understands and accurately transcribes local dialects and idioms and has access to local knowledge. You also want a transcription service that can accommodate more difficult recordings, such as lengthy interviews or focus groups. Consider providing your transcription company with a list of key words – such as acronyms and field-specific jargon.

Ethics Committee Standards – Transcription services such as Pacific Transcription adhere to the most stringent levels of confidentiality and website encryption to meet your ethics committee’s standards. Just ask the transcription company for their ethical standards document, to make sure they are meeting all your ethical requirements.

Qualitative Analysis – Request from your transcription service a transcription format which is fully compatible with qualitative analysis software. NVivo or Leximancer are two most commonly-used software programs. Pacific Transcription offers this service so you can input straight into the software, saving time and money. Pacific Transcription is able to format documents in a way which allows automatic synchronisation with the audio when input into the software, and has a proven track record of transcribing audio recordings quickly and professionally.

So for help, advice and transcription services for research and university transcription, contact Pacific Transcription – on-line, on-time and on-call transcription.

About Catherine Byrne

Catherine's work with Pacific Transcription spans many areas, including writing and design, business development, training, and of course, keeping abreast of emerging trends and new products which enhance transcription and dictation experiences for clients.
This entry was posted in Better Audio, Focus Groups, Interviews, Qualitative Research, Transcription and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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