The Ultimate Guide to Academic Research Transcriptions

The Ultimate Guide to Academic Research Transcriptions

A Guide for Academic Universities and the use of Transcriptions for Academic Research


What is Academic Research?

Academic research is described as a structured investigation of a specific issue or condition with the intention of identifying facts and opinions to solve its related problems and how to manage its outcomes. These types of research are commonly conducted in academic research universities. The investigation is typically led by a Primary Investigator (PI) and comprises other researchers, including assistants or associate professors, Ph.D. students, people doing postdocs, and undergraduates.

Academic research may fall into three categories:

  • Basic Research - is also called pure research or fundamental research. This type of research aims to understand a subject better or improve scientific theories.
  • Clinical Research - this is a type of research whose primary purpose is to study the health and illness in people, including the safety and efficacy of medications, devices, diagnostic products, and treatment regimens.
  • Population-Based Research - a type of research study where a group of individuals is selected from a general population who share common characteristics such as age, sex, race, or health condition.

Academic research studies are usually intended to create knowledge and are not designed to benefit a specific company or organization. They are also designed to come from a voice of authority and can change how people view the research topic. For this reason, it is always held to a high standard.

What do Research Universities do, and how do they operate?

Research universities usually work a lot like large businesses. They have a controller (PI) responsible for managing all vendor relationships and will try to consolidate them as much as possible. Universities usually have their preferred vendors listed, but if the PI and the researchers would want to work with a vendor that isn’t on their list, they must first seek approval. 

Conducting academic research is expensive. Therefore, researchers require funds to support their investigation. A research grant is a funding procedure instituted by various agencies and organizations to provide research universities money that they will use for their research. Research universities get funding for research in two ways:

  • Research universities may do grant writing, where part of their proposal would include a preliminary budget that would list all the items the grant money will be used for.  It would also include the approach a university may take to carry out its research.
  • Funding agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH)  or the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) would propose a research question on a general category where different universities may apply.

Each funding agency has its own set of submission guidelines that researchers must adhere to when submitting their letters of intent.

As soon as a grant has been approved, research universities may provide the team of researchers and the PI with the space they need to do their research. These include offices, libraries, laboratories, and other equipment. A large proportion of the grant money will be handed over to the university to cover all the overhead expenses, while the rest of the funding will be used to compensate the research team members.


What professional services do Academic Research Universities utilize?

The use of professional services for academic research varies depending on the area of study and projects researchers are working on. Some services would include:

  • Software packages or services for website development, videos, and graphic design that would showcase the nature of their research and their findings.
  • The lab works for scientific and medical research. Researchers may also rely on third-party vendors to do advanced analysis for specimens if the equipment needed is not available on site.
  • Academic transcription services for quick data referencing and putting qualitative data and information into a text-based format.

How do researchers in research universities prepare their budget for transcriptions?

When writing grant proposals, researchers and universities detail their foreseeable spending allocation when submitting a preliminary budget to funding agencies.

One of the valuable tools researchers can include in their budget is transcriptions. A transcript is a written version of a recorded interview. It not only captures who said what in an interview, but it provides researchers with a quick way to go back to any detail mentioned without having to listen to the whole recording.

Researchers and research universities may approach budgeting for the involvement of transcriptions for research differently in determining the budget they are going to allocate for the service.

Not all research studies require a ton of transcription work, and some may not even need any at all. If researchers spend less on transcription services, they could allocate more funds to other research areas, such as getting more people interviewed to get a larger sample size. But there are reasons that support the value of research university transcriptions.

What are the benefits of using Academic Transcription Services?

Academic research, in general, is such a vast topic. Certain aspects or fields on the spectrum could use transcription services, and these could be regarded as an essential tool for the research. Accuracy and quality are crucial in transcriptions, especially for medical or qualitative research. A researcher wouldn’t mind paying a premium  transcription service, which is essential for producing accurate content. Suppose the transcript quality is low; in that case, the researcher may need to allocate a lot of time and effort to correct the transcripts, which is inevitably costlier in time and talent than opting for a premium transcription service that provides a high level of accuracy. 

Aside from accuracy and quality, these other factors would also make transcription services vital and beneficial for academic research.

  • It saves time Time management during the conduction of research is critical. By turning to transcription services, researchers would be able to devote their hours to other more important things rather than doing the laborious task of transcribing the interviews on their own. 
  • It makes the research productive - Funding and grant organizations certainly want to see researchers becoming frugal with their provided funds. With transcriptions, researchers would demonstrate that they’re capable of doing more work with the resources given, allowing them to conduct more interviews and produce more data. 
  • It captures every detail – Having the interviews transcribed, most especially done by human transcribers, helps researchers quickly identify all the critical notes raised during interview discussions. 
  • It facilitates quick information retrieval – Academic research transcriptions make searching and confirming data from interview recordings much more efficient. Researchers can highlight the keynotes and items discussed during their interviews on their transcripts for quick and easy data referencing.
  • It makes the research content easily accessible – Research studies are usually conducted by pairs or groups. Sharing the information gathered during data collection would be more straightforward since transcripts can be distributed to everyone involved in the research. Gathering information from previous studies can also be referenced easily through transcripts for proper backup and comparison, especially when the research leans more towards surveys and statistics. 
  • It makes the message become more relatable to people - Language barriers can be a factor in why a research study may be accessible only to limited groups of people. Transcription companies offering translation services are able to broaden the impact of a study by allowing the researchers to conduct interviews with people regardless of their language and culture. Research universities can provide the interview recordings to transcription companies who will translate or transcribe them from their source language.

How Do Researchers Choose Who To Interview?

Part of the research planning involves data collection, and one of the ways to collect data is usually done through interviews. The subjects for the interviews would depend on the nature of the study or research conducted. For example, when an analysis focuses on medical interventions, researchers may choose to interview medical field experts such as surgeons and anesthesiologists. But, when the research is categorized as generic, researchers may go out to the community or an area outside the university to recruit respondents. They could also send an email blast to the university to get people to volunteer for the study.

What types of research studies could benefit from using transcriptions?

The importance of hiring transcription services to assist professors and researchers could be leveraged depending on the field of study of the research they are pursuing. There are several ways a researcher can translate their findings into a research paper or create them depending on the needs and the purpose that their research may serve. Transcriptions are better utilized for research studies such as:

  • Qualitative interviews and research where researchers may want to have a transcript for all interviews conducted with respondents for analysis purposes.
  • Academic or scientific research related to machine learning, where machine learning may contribute to solving complex issues such as, for example, neuroscience and neurology.
  • Clinical trial studies where research could take place in a medical or other clinical settings. These types of research may include discussions and interviews about experimental treatments and interventions for certain illnesses or diseases.  

However, there are certain research studies where transcripts may not be required, and these types of research may be centered more on mathematical figures or data science. Yet transcriptions could still be necessary when researchers look at particular algorithms where machine learning has a huge influence, such as if the problem they're looking at and trying to solve revolves around speech-to-text engines.

How would transcriptions contribute to the outcome of the research?

Funding organizations such as NIH or PCORI may be interested in supporting prevalent research topics, and they keep an eye on themes that they want to fund. Researchers may use the results of their research in various ways, and transcriptions can play a vital role in their research outcomes. An example of this was demonstrated in recent years when research organizations delved deep into breast cancer research and the creation and advancement of tools that breast surgeons could use to help patients understand their alternatives from a treatment perspective. 

Recently, the funding for research has been invested heavily in COVID as researchers are continuously pivoting their research into looking at tools and aids that can help people understand the risks and benefits of taking vaccines, as well as the advancement of the overall treatment plan for those that are exposed to the virus. The transcripts produced from these types of studies are being used as a backbone by researchers for writing that is published and translated into medical books and journals, which can be easily referenced and accessed by medical researchers and physicians worldwide. 

Transcriptions also act as a tool for quick information referencing and for the creation of visual aids that may support physicians when talking to patients during the communication process. This includes making visual aids to take the complicated terminologies out of the conversation and explain treatment options and diagnoses in a more straightforward and accessible way for regular people without a medical or scientific background.

Future researchers can also credit past studies through transcriptions preserved in academic papers, periodicals, and magazines. Documents such as these are usually archived and are accessible through the catalogs of the libraries inside research universities or other related institutions.


The use of transcriptions for research and research universities aid in delivering the colossal progress and development of new and helpful inventions, medical advancements, and other significant scientific and technological discoveries. By utilizing transcription services that produce top-notch work, such as Civicom TranscriptionWing, research universities are able to do more with the funding they receive and pave the way for these advancements.

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