How to do Interview Transcriptions in Qualitative Research
Qualitative research is a process where non-numerical data is gathered and analyzed to better understand a concept, opinion, or experience. In doing so, researchers can gain and share in-depth insights into said concepts or problems. Apart from that, it can also be used to create new research ideas.
Data for qualitative research is often collected from texts, photos, audio, and video files. One popular method of gathering data for qualitative research is by conducting and recording interviews. Once the interviews are done, the next logical step to take is to transcribe the interviews. This can be done on your own or with the help of human transcriptionists.
According to a 2008 study by Oxford Academic, transcriptions are vital in qualitative research as they help researchers study their gathered data closely. But how exactly can researchers transcribe their audio files? What are the necessary steps that one must take when transcribing interviews? Learn everything you need to know in this informative and helpful article.
How to Transcribe Qualitative Research Interviews
1. Record the Interview
When conducting qualitative research, researchers often collect data by interviewing experts in the field that they’re studying. If you plan to transcribe an interview for your qualitative research, the first thing you need to do is record the interview.
When recording interviews, it’s highly recommended that researchers use high-quality devices such as a high-end video camera. They can also use a dedicated digital voice recorder to record the interview’s audio. That way, the quality of the audio recording is improved. This would allow you to produce a more accurate interview transcription for your research.
2. Prepare Your Transcription Equipment
Transcribing interviews is an important task when conducting qualitative research. However, it’s also a well-known fact that it’s a time-consuming process. The process can consume even more time if you’re not using or don’t have the proper equipment to record the interview. As such, when wondering how to do transcription in qualitative research, one of the steps you need to take is preparing the right equipment for your interview.
When transcribing an interview, there are two essential pieces of equipment that you need to prepare beforehand. These equipment are noise-canceling headphones and, of course, your computer.
While you don’t necessarily need a powerful computer to transcribe your audio, it’s highly recommended that you use noise-canceling headphones while you’re doing the task. That way, you can reduce background noise as you listen to the recording. This lets you focus more on the audio to create a more accurate transcription.
3. Begin Transcribing with Transcription Software and Online Tools
Once you have your recordings and equipment ready, you can now begin transcribing your qualitative research interview. When transcribing audio, you have many options when choosing transcription software. In fact, if the audio isn’t that long or you happen to be in a hurry, you can even utilize rush transcription services if needed.
By taking advantage of transcription software, transcribing becomes easier and more efficient. This allows you to cut back on your transcription hours. In addition, while transcribing your interview’s audio, you can use some online tools to assist you. Often, these features allow you to analyze your data; some will even have automatic timestamps and insert speaker tags.
Apart from taking advantage of transcription software and other online tools, it’s also recommended that you follow a specific style of transcribing and stick with it. In doing so, you and your team won’t be confused when reading and interpreting the data the transcripts provide.
4. Proofread and Format Your Transcripts
When you’re done transcribing your qualitative research interview, you can begin proofreading them. Remember, even human transcriptionists can make mistakes. Proofreading is a crucial step to take as it helps to correct any mistakes that may have been made. Additionally, it ensures that all vital details mentioned by the interviewee during the research are taken into account.
Apart from proofreading your interview transcription, researchers should also take the time to format the document properly. That way, the transcript can be readable and understood by not just yourself but other members of your team as well.
5. Have Your Team Read the Transcripts
Having a fresh pair of eyes (and ears) can always help researchers ensure that their transcripts are accurate. As such, after you’re done transcribing, be sure to give your team access to the document. That way, they can read the transcript and leave their comments or notes on it. If needed, they should also be able to edit the transcript after listening to the interview audio themselves.
By providing your team access to the document to read and edit, you add another layer of accuracy to the final transcript. As such, don’t hesitate to ask your team for additional assistance if needed.
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