University Research Transcription: Why You Need It For A Successful Research Career

February 24, 2023

University Research Transcription: Why You Need It For A Successful Research Career

When you’re gearing up to study at a research university, you’ll need every tool available to create solid research projects and establish a credible name for yourself.

In searching for the best research tools, one tool might not be instantly considered but offers significant value — transcriptions.

University research transcriptions are the key to successfully starting your research career while building healthy workflow habits that will benefit you long after graduating.

Here’s how.

What Is A Research University?

Research universities specialize in producing original research in a specific area of study. They offer undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs that concentrate on specialties and subspecialties of areas of knowledge.

Differences Between Research Universities And Teaching Universities

Research universities are distinct from teaching universities in three main factors:

  1. Workload - Research universities primarily involve self-driven research as the main brunt of students’ education. Teaching universities require students to memorize core concepts, participate in class, and provide original ideas that add to the professor’s teachings
  2. Teaching style - In research universities, professors mostly supervise their students over their research projects, but students are otherwise left on their own to learn. Professors in teaching universities are solely responsible for educating and instructing students
  3. Study materials - Research universities provide students with textbooks on the fundamentals of the course, as well as compilations or journals of past research. Teaching universities have a pre-set syllabus that sets the flow of instruction on a certain subject matter from general to specific information

No matter what type of university you’re studying in, transcription is an invaluable tool. Consider exploring TranscriptionWing’s transcribing services to see how you can leverage transcriptions in your research process.

Why Is Transcription Important In Research Universities?

University research transcription has numerous substantial advantages for students, regardless of the course they’re taking.

Most courses, especially in social science and education, involve the use of qualitative research methods such as focus groups and in-depth interviews to gather data.

Audio and video recordings and note-taking are go-to tools that researchers use for data-gathering. Unfortunately, when using these tools, one often encounters obstacles that can affect research quality. 

A 2018 paper listed challenges that researchers must face when conducting qualitative research. Some key challenges include:

  • The quality of research is dependent on the researcher’s skills and execution
  • Researchers’ biases can affect their study
  • Respondent input is influenced by the researcher’s presence

Transcription alleviates many of these challenges and helps researchers expedite their workflow while maintaining research quality.

Here are 5 key reasons why transcriptions are vital in research universities:

1. Transcription streamlines the research process

It’s common to backtrack during your workflow to identify and correct mistakes in your data. While audio recordings and notes are common tools for this purpose, they can both fall short because:

  • Audio recordings alone may become unreliable due to complex audio like crosstalk, heavy accents, and background noise
  • Note-taking splits your focus between writing down key insights, listening, and asking follow-up questions, affecting the quality of the discussion

In contrast, transcripts allow you to quickly keep track of your research and clarify data misinterpretations on the fly. By searching the keyword in your word processor, you can immediately jump to key points in the discussion.

Transcripts also have timestamps which can serve as useful reference points that allow you to keep track of where certain key insights are.

2. Transcription gives you a better understanding of your data

Transcriptions are essentially textual versions of your qualitative data. This makes them highly versatile in providing the full context of your raw data.

While audio recordings recreate the discussions, taking advantage of them can be tricky if you’re in a loud environment. This will require you to either transfer to a quiet place or wear earphones. With transcriptions, you only need to read and search for what you’re looking for.

One invaluable feature of transcripts is speaker labeling which makes it significantly easier to associate insights with specific respondents. If your study involves sensitive information or respondents who prefer their identity to keep a secret, speaker labels can help you mask their identity while still giving you key insights.

In addition, generally, there are three types of transcriptions:

  • Pure verbatim - Maintains every utterance and sound as is, such as background noise, filler words, and false starts
  • Smart verbatim - Filters out the complex audio and fixes grammatical errors
  • Non-verbatim - Retains the main idea without strictly adhering to the actual wording

You can choose which type of transcription is ideal based on the timeframe and the kind of data you’re looking for.

3. Transcription improves group collaboration

Since transcripts are text files, they have a significantly smaller file size than audio recordings. Thus, they’re easy to share and access among your group. 

Transcriptions are also much better understood by your colleagues than notes during the discussion. Notes are essentially mnemonic devices that help you remember key insights during the discussions. However, not everyone can understand your notes as well as you do.

On the other hand, anyone can understand transcripts. In fact, transcription can make your note-taking even better. Instead of taking notes during the discussion, highlight the key insights in the transcript and place annotations from your input.

4. Transcription creates a reliable reference for future research

Past research projects are invaluable resources that students can use as foundations to outline new projects. While you can scan your previous works in their entirety, this may be impractical, especially when you have a tight timeframe.

Transcripts can serve as quick, clear summaries of key insights during the discussions. They can greatly expedite the initial planning of your research project. You can create clean copies of your transcripts, which you can highlight and annotate with new notes.

5. Transcription increases the accessibility of your research

Every finished research project is a vital contribution to the academia of your expertise. Upcoming research students may find your studies particularly useful in formulating and supporting their own. Plus, your projects also help you reach job opportunities that involve your particular expertise.

This involves a considerable degree of shareability and accessibility. Besides publishing or sharing your research in your university publication, you can make your transcripts accessible.

The raw data you gathered, as well as the study you provided, can earn you citations and build your credibility in your field of study.

How To Include Transcription In Your Academic Research

The common misconception about transcriptions is that it adds an extra step to the workflow, which unnecessarily prolongs the research process.

On the contrary, including transcription in your research can make your workflow more efficient if you know how to use it correctly.

Here are some best practices on integrating transcription into your research workflow:

  • Share the transcripts through cloud storage. This lets your colleagues access and annotate your transcripts seamlessly
  • Take turns transcribing with your colleagues. Transcribing can be a time-consuming and tedious process, especially if there is a lot of raw data to transcribe. You can mitigate this by taking turns amongst yourselves to transcribe
  • Use transcribing services. Alternatively, you can outsource all the transcription work to a transcribing service like TranscriptionWing. This allows everyone to focus solely on research while reaping the benefits of transcription and avoiding academic burnout

Integrating transcription work early into your academic workflow can be highly advantageous for you in the long run. Transcription has many uses outside academia, so starting as early as now can build habits that will benefit you well into your future career.

TranscriptionWing Can Enhance Your Research Studies

Your coursework during your university research career can become hectic and leave no room for transcription in your workload. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to benefit from transcriptions.

TranscriptionWing offers market research transcriptions, rush transcription services, and other general transcription services, as well as free tools such as a word counter to keep your workflow organized and productive.

Contact us to learn more about what transcriptions can do for your university research career!

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