Transcription in academic research has numerous benefits
Conducting academic research is a time consuming process. Unfortunately, depending on your area of expertise, research is not the best place to cut corners. Having access to the internet certainly makes life easier, but there is no substitute for good old-fashioned research techniques.
Academic research needs to be carried out systematically. Digging deep into different sources of information in a haphazard way means you are likely to miss crucial facts and pieces of information. At best this type of approach will delay your research project. But at worst it will seriously challenge your hypothesis and prevent you from reaching the right conclusions.
Different Types of Research:
There are two types of research options: primary and secondary.
Primary research involves conducting interviews, observational work and collecting information via questionnaires. Secondary research includes reading existing texts such as published material and personal diaries, accessing statistics, and the media (films, etc.).
There is nothing wrong with using secondary research methods. Reading other people’s research and cross-referencing with statistics is a perfectly valid approach. But utilising as many primary sources of information is a good idea.
Ask the Right Interview Questions:
Interviews are an excellent way of finding out information for the purposes of qualitative research. As long as you target the right participants and ask the right questions, you should gain some useful insight into your research subject. Make sure you prepare well for your interview. It can be helpful to conduct a brief telephone interview first in order to prepare the interviewee and build some rapport. On the day of the interview, have sound recording devices available to capture the entire conversation. An external microphone is essential. Taking notes can be distracting and relying on your memory is never a good idea.
Transcribing Research Interviews is Time Consuming:
The trouble is, whilst interviews are essential for the purposes of academic research, they are time consuming. If you interview several people, you will easily end up with umpteen hours of audio files to transcribe. The average person speaks at a rate of 160 words per minute. So, if you are interviewing two people for an hour, you then have around 20,000 words to transcribe, which is a lot!
Stay Focused – Use Professional Transcriptionists:
Most academics don’t have time to sit and transcribe hours upon hours of research interviews. Not only does it take far too long, but it is also difficult to stay focused. Instead it is far better to have your research interviews transcribed by a professional.
Depending on how you want the information presented, a professional will edit out unnecessary or habitual words and phrases. This will make your job easier when you analyse the information gained during the interview.