Thursday, 28 May 2015

Transcriptions: First Step to Qualitative Research

Qualitative research, particularly those conducted in the field of primary care, aims to understand the most common of human phenomena, along with their complexity, in the fields of health and illness. Typically, these studies involve data comprising of written texts, including field notes and relevant documents, and audible and visual data, including interview recordings.

How Transcriptions Help

Most scholarly articles and authors describe transcription as a straightforward technical task. A transcriptionist would also take audio and spoken words into words on paper. However, this is not mere note-taking. Transcribing notes also requires interpretation, representation, and reduction (if necessary), not only to get the words down and make them readable, but also meaningful and relevant to the research.

In the end, transcription is more than a technical task or procedure, but rather an interpretive act. Researchers see and notice certain unanticipated phenomena, and there are different ways of transcribing the same data. One could decide on the level of transcription detail that is required for the study.

Whom to Trust

For qualitative studies, these usually involve the collation of relevant audio and video recordings. Some recordings can be difficult to understand due to poor recording quality, interfering noises, low volume, overlaps in speech, and even accents or styles in speech. In this case, professional transcription services can do a better job of transcribing difficult recordings.

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