How to Use Transcribed Interviews to Write Research Articles
Publish or perish – that’s what they tell you. The academic world thrives on quality, sustained, original knowledge production. And “publish or perish” is also an economic pressure. Frequent publishing brings funding to an institution. It also improves the prospects of the scholar.
But while academics need to reference respected, verifiable sources, nothing adds value to a paper quite like original research. A research interview can boost the value of your work as a primary source. Recorded testimony brings new facts and ideas to light.
However, the flipside of generating original research through interviews is the additional material you need to process. You need to carefully transcribe your interview to work with it and reference it, and though there are many interview transcription uses, the process can be time-consuming work. That’s why many scholars use an online transcription service.
What Are the Advantages of Using Research Interviews in Qualitative Research
Qualitative research takes a humanistic approach to exploring and understanding an issue.
The primary sources of qualitative research include interviews, focus group sessions, observation, archive documents, and field recordings. These primary sources are highly valuable to academic work. They illustrate original thinking and research, and they create material “for the record”. Although primary sources are not without bias, they can help temper the scholar’s natural bias.
Research interviews can also add valuable context to quantitative research. Interviews add color and meaning to your work, making your findings comprehensible and applicable. And they add a human element to academic work to prevent it coming across as “dry”.
Using interview transcripts is also a high-value, low-cost way to quickly generate ideas and material for your research.
Why Get A Transcription of Your Qualitative Research Interview?
Part of the value of a primary source is its dependability. Secondary sources may suffer from “broken telephone” syndrome or acquired bias. But with an interview, you’re telling the academic world: this is what I heard.
To give these findings credibility, you need a high-quality, verbatim transcript. Your peers and readers should be able to verify – and hopefully, one day cite! – your original research. You owe it to your interview subject and to your discipline to create a precise record.
But a transcript is not just for the record, it is also a valuable tool when structuring and writing your paper. You can easily copy it into your Word document and move it around. An interview transcript with a timecode is easy to annotate and return to when looking for an important detail. Re-reading the transcript at your own pace also helps you engage with the material.
Three Ways to Get an Audio Transcript of your Research Interview
So, an audio transcript is a pretty good tool. It generates ideas, improves accuracy, and lends credibility to your academic paper.
But how to do it? Let’s look at the three main options.
1. Transcribe the Interview Yourself
The old-fashioned way to transcribe an interview is to sit with your recording and write it all down yourself. The advantage of doing this is that it doesn’t cost you a thing – financially, at least. Unfortunately, it takes most people around four hours to transcribe just one hour of audio—and that’s if it’s a good, clear recording. So, the cost is to your valuable time.
Transcribing by hand is not a lot of fun unless it’s really what you like to do. It takes a lot of skipping back and forth in your digital recording. You need to keep checking back to fix typos and verify that you haven’t made a mistake in this important document. It is time and energy you could better use developing your original material.
2. Use a Human Online Transcription Service
There are two ways to transcribe your work online: hire a professional human transcriber or use automatic transcription software.
Having mentioned that transcribing is not a lot of fun, a professional human transcriber is somebody who does enjoy the process. Trained transcribers may complete the work up to twice as quickly as the uninitiated. Rev’s transcription team has the training and experience to complete your transcription to a highly accurate standard (minimum 99% accuracy guaranteed).
To use the service, simply upload your audio or digital file to your Rev account. Rev will email you with your finished transcript within 12 hours – and often, sooner. It costs $1.25 per audio minute. Optional extras include timestamps and verbatim transcription if the ums, ahs, and stutters are essential for your work.
As a side-note, if you’re not sure how you’re going to record your interview in the first place: try downloading Rev’s free voice recorder app to your phone.
3. Use Speech Recognition Software
The closest alternative to hiring a human transcriber is to use an automated transcription service. Highly-developed software “listens” to your recording and returns a written document for you to edit and use in your research. The main advantages of automated transcription over human transcription are:
- Save time. A robot is doing the work, so automated transcription is near-instantaneous. Rev’s speech recognition service returns your completed transcript in under five minutes.
- Save money. Rev’s automated service costs just $0.25 per minute of audio, i.e., 20 minutes for $5.
Automated transcription is great if you’re in a hurry or on a tight budget. The only reservations are that your audio recording needs to be clear with little background noise and you’ll receive a lower accuracy than human transcription. Rev’s industry-leading automated transcription is around 80% accurate or more – so you’ll want to double-check your transcript before quoting it in your paper.
Publish and Perish Ye Not
If you create qualitative research, you’ll benefit from conducting research interviews. And if you conduct interviews for your research, you need transcription.
Using an online transcription service like Rev takes the pain out of transcribing an interview. And it gives you back valuable time for knowledge production. Why not try it for your next interview?