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Last updated: September 16, 2022

Want to ace your studies? Consider taking up academic research transcription. It is a fantastic tool that allows you to capture critical insights from lectures, interviews, and other media.

But before you open up your audio recording and start transcribing away, know that there are best practices around academic research transcription. To boil it down as simply typing down dialogue can limit your vision of how much it can really help you excel in the academe.

There’s much more to academic research transcription than transcribing — it’s an investment with long-term advantages. To leverage the benefits of academic research transcription, here are some tips and tricks you need to know:

Refresh yourself on the purpose of the audio recording

Like studying, diving headfirst blindly into transcribing can be tedious in the long run. If you simply transcribe without first knowing the purpose of the audio recording, you’ll see academic research transcriptions as more of a chore rather than a positive investment of your time and energy.

Every audio recording of an interview or a lecture has a purpose for a certain subject matter. If you refresh yourself on what that purpose is, it can help you avoid the tedium of constant transcribing and see the long-term benefits of transcriptions.

When you refresh yourself on the purpose of each audio recording, you can identify the factors like:

  • The most appropriate type of transcription
  • Insights that are relevant to your research
  • Scope of your future analysis

Plus, refreshing yourself helps you gauge how long it will take for you to finish the transcript.

With every transcription effort, make it a habit to know why you’re transcribing in the first place.

Determine the best type of transcription for your research

Transcription takes a very long time to do, and time is an invaluable asset in studies. That’s why it’s vital to identify the best type of transcription for your research, as it can impact how much time and effort you need to transcribe your audio recordings.

Whether you’re doing interview transcriptions or lecture transcriptions, it’s vital to know the three main types of transcription:

  • Pure verbatim transcription – Includes every utterance and verbal expression (e.g., false starts, filler words, coughs, laughs)
  • Smart verbatim transcription – Filters out verbal expressions and other irrelevant utterances
  • Non-verbatim transcription – Takes the essence of the dialogue without being very strict about the exact words said

The best type of transcription for you will depend on your time, research needs, and the amount of effort you’re willing to put in.

If you have the time and energy and value verbal expressions in your research, pure verbatim transcription may work best. Smart verbatim transcription may be the better option if you want to eliminate unnecessary utterances. Finally, non-verbatim transcriptions can be ideal if you want to zero in on the insights and could care less about the verbal expressions.

Use tools and software

You can always make do with a word processor and a media player as your only tools for transcription. But if you want to elevate the advantages of academic research transcription, consider adding other weapons to your arsenal.

There are numerous tools available online that can help you speed up the transcription process or better leverage your transcript. Many of these tools are also quite useful for studies, making them easy to integrate into your current workflow.

Here are some tools that can help you with transcription:

  • Grammarly helps you identify and fix errors in grammar or spelling on the fly.
  • Notion allows you to take notes, organize your files, and keep track of other agendas.
  • Google Drive lets you manage and share your files (e.g., audio recordings and transcription files) with your colleagues for smoother collaboration.

But do you know the best tool that can help you with your transcriptions? A transcription service. Put simply, it’s a service that makes your transcripts for you. Transcription services like TranscriptionWing let you reap the benefits of academic research transcription while focusing on your studies.

Verify unclear dialogue

Sometimes, it just cannot be helped when there are certain parts of your audio that are hard to make out. Unintelligible audio is one of the most common challenges in transcription. These can hamper not only the transcription process but also your analysis, especially if the unintelligible parts contain insights that are critical to your study.

One solution is to try very hard to make out the unclear dialogue. Stay in a quiet area and listen to the audio with headphones to piece together the unclear dialogue.

The other solution may be more reliable: verify the dialogue with the speakers. This may involve letting them listen to the audio recording so they can have a feel of the conversation they had previously. If successful, they can help you fill in the gaps in your transcript.

Take notes while transcribing

Generally, it’s best to focus only on the transcription process to complete the transcript as quickly as possible. Sometimes, however, you may stumble across key insights in the audio recording that can give you amazing ideas about the topic. You can hold the thought until after the transcript process, but you risk forgetting the idea later on.

Remember: transcription is a means to an end, and your end is to gain better insights. Feel free to have some brief pauses during the transcription process and take a few minutes to write down the ideas that popped into your mind.

For best effect:

  • Indicate the timestamp of when you came up with the idea.
  • Write the idea in bullet points so you can quickly return to transcribing.
  • Place the notes within the transcription draft and transfer them to a separate document when you finish transcribing for clean file management.

Make it a habit to combine this style of note-taking and transcribing for more effective transcription efforts. Market research transcriptions, conference call transcriptions, and other types of transcriptions, for instance, can become more insightful.

Make your transcripts accessible to your colleagues

The academe can sometimes be a competitive environment where you keep a stash of “trade secrets” to stay ahead of the curve. In many cases, however, collaboration can get you farther than staying in a personal ivory tower.

Your transcripts may help you gain more critical insights, but you can leverage even more out of them when you share them with your colleagues. They can offer unique perspectives that yield even more ideas about the subject matter that can help you greatly. In exchange, you help them have a reliable reference point for their own studies.

You can reach an agreement with a group of colleagues to:

  • Record a lecture or interview
  • Take turns transcribing the audio recordings
  • Put together a shared folder where you can combine notes on the topic

When done right, academic research transcriptions can help you reach your A game in your studies. At the same time, however, transcriptions can also be detrimental because of how much time and energy they need. Why risk getting tired and wasting your time transcribing when you can just take notes?

Here’s a better question: why not take advantage of academic research transcriptions without transcribing? That option is possible thanks to transcription services like TranscriptionWing. All you need to do is send your audio recordings and any specifications you have, and you can receive your much-needed transcripts while still having the time to focus on your studies.