We can transcribe from a wide variety of audio formats for your research interviews. We will sign any confidentiality agreements as may be required and maintain H.I.P.A.A. compliance with regards to confidentiality.
We provide secure storage of your transcripts. Our web-accessible client area is encrypted with 128bit SSL encryption and password protected. In addition, we can strip out any identifying materials from your transcripts to maintain subject anonymity.
If you are just starting a project, we can provide advice on recording equipment and project organization that will save you great amounts of time and money in both the short and long term.
We provide two types of verbatim transcripts for One-on-One Interviews.
- Clean Verbatim - the content of the interviewee's responses are verbatim, but we omit the non-verbal utterance such as 'uh..' and 'uhm..', 'double- doubled' words and 'st-st-stutters'. We transcribe transcripts this way by default. The interviewer's questions will be lightly paraphrased
- True Verbatim - the 'uhms and uhs', 'stu-stutters' and other non-verbal utterances of the interviewee are transcribed. We transcribe a representative number of such utterances. For instance if somebody says "I uh.. uh.. uh.. ate dinner" it would be transcribed as "I uh.. ate dinner." If you need True Verbatim, it must be requested on the order. To do so indicate you would like "True Verbatim" in the file notes during upload. The interviewer's questions will be lightly paraphrased. An additional fee per minute applies, see details below. True Verbatim is not available on any recordings with background noise or poor recording quality.
True Verbatim is not available on poorly recorded audio or audio with excessive background noise.
Note: We do not provide certified legal transcripts or court reporting services. For that type of service please use a court reporting firm.
If you're going to type notes on your laptop while conducting the interview we recommend a 'silent keyboard' like the GrandTec Flexible Keyboard or this Silent Bluetooth Keyboard. The sound of typing can adversely affect the quality of your transcription as the recorder will pick up that sound louder than you can imagine.
Type 2 pricing applies to most research interviews. By default, we will transcribe the respondent's answers Clean Verbatim.
If professional recording practices and equipment are used, Type-1 pricing can apply to one-on-one research interviews. See below for more details.
In our experience though, most audio submitted by researchers does not meet the threshold of professional recording due to one or more the following reasons:
- Researchers are trained in their field, not in professional sound recording.
- Poor Sound Quality (e.g. consumer tape recorder placed on table between interviewer and subject)
- Background Noise (some examples listed below. Not an inclusive list!)
- Interview recorded in cafeteria during lunch break
- typing on keyboard during interview
- people talking in background
- HVAC systems
- industrial or light industrial equipment running in room (refrigerators, ICU equipment, server fans, etc.)
- Accents (British, foreign, heavy regional, or otherwise.)
- Phone Interviews (automatically Type-2)
- Interviewer materially louder than Interviewee. (recorder should be place next to interviewee to avoid this.)
- Interviews conducted outdoors
- Recorded on Microcassette (automatically Type 2)
Excessive Noise: Files with excessive noise in the background will be assessed an additional fee of $0.50 per minute of audio. Almost all interviews conducted in restaurants will have the Excessive Noise fee applied.
Type 1 materials are typically professionally produced recordings (or the equivalent) and have the following characteristics. As with Type-2 files described above, the Interviewee's responses will be transcribed Clean Verbatim and the questions will be slightly paraphrased. As mentioned above most Research Interviews bill at our Type-2 rate.
- Professionally recorded and duplicated (no recording artifacts of any kind. A high quality recording system used well.)
- Quiet environment. No background noise of any kind.
- native-English speaking interviewees (Standard American Dialect.) All ESL speakers or speakers with heavy regional accents bill at Type-2.
- > 22khz sample rate for digital files.
If you need both the interviewer's questions and the interviewee's response Clean Verbatim and not paraphrased, Type-2 pricing will apply irrespective.
Note: If you want the questions transcribed verbatim instead of paraphrased, Type-2 pricing applies
- Proper recording technique makes a huge difference in transcription quality.
- DO NOT USE microcassette if at all possible. The sound quality is extremely poor on these devices. If you must, be sure to record in 2.4 fps and not 1.2 fps mode.
- For Audio Cassettes, each side of the cassette is billed as a separate transcript. Thus, if you have a 60 minute lecture and 45 minutes of it are on Side A and 15 minutes are on Side B, you will be billed for two transcripts, one 45 minutes, the other 15 minutes. See our advice on Audio Cassette Recording for more details.
It is easier to be critical than correct.