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Research Transcription: What will my Focus Group or Interview Transcript look like?

Transcription for the purposes of research, such as transcribing focus groups and interviews for research and analysis, may require a template or format specific to the needs of the researcher and the qualitative analysis software you might be utilising.

Following are some helpful tips on how Sterling Transcription defines, categorises and presents research transcriptions. By being aware of the options available to you, you can tailor the format and cost of your own research transcriptions to suit your specific needs and budget.

Transcriptions for research can be roughly divided into two categories: Interview Transcription and Focus Group Transcription. Interview transcription generally covers conversations with one to three participants. Focus Group transcription is more complex, often with a larger number of interviewees, and many or may not require detailed identification of each speaker.

Research Transcription: Identification and Differentiation of Speakers

Sterling Transcription has a standard format for university transcription and research transcription when it comes to identifying or differentiating speakers. Where identification by name or number is requested, surcharges are likely to apply as the process takes longer, especially for focus groups.

Identification means that where we are requested to identify speakers and names are supplied, we will use those names to do so. Where names are not supplied, identification will be in the form of numbering for each speaker.

Differentiation means that where identification is not requested, speakers will be labelled according to role in the interview (facilitator/interviewee) and/or gender. This is the standard practice for Sterling Transcription.

Examples of identification and differentiation are outlined below.

Research Transcription: Interviews – files with 1 to 3 speakers

STANDARD: Speakers will be differentiated as either Facilitator or Interviewee as appropriate. If there are two facilitators or interviewees, these will be further differentiated by gender and voice, for example Facilitator, Male 1, Male 2.
ADVANCED: Where identification is required, speakers will be labelled with the names provided.

Example 1:
Facilitator: Hi, I am the facilitator and the client has not requested speaker identification.
Interviewee: I am the interviewee.

Example 2:
Facilitator 1: Hi, I am the facilitator with the male voice and the client has not requested speaker identification.
Facilitator 2: Hi, I am the facilitator with the female voice.
Interviewee: Hi, I am the interviewee Jane. While I do mention my name, as the client has not requested speaker identification, I am still labelled as interviewee.

Example 3:
John: Hi, I am the facilitator and the client has requested speaker identification. I introduce myself as John.
Male: Hi, I am an interviewee with a male voice and I am not identified at any stage.
Jane: Hi, I am an interviewee and my name is Jane.

Research Transcription : Focus Groups

Research Transcription: Focus groups – files with 4+ speakers

STANDARD: Sterling Transcription differentiates between facilitators and interviewees, however not between individual interviewees other than by gender. This means that interviewees will be named simply Male or Female. This style is preferred by the majority of clients who use our transcription services as they are more interested in the content of the discussion as a whole, rather than knowing which speaker made certain comments.

ADVANCED: If you would like speakers to be identified or differentiated, please add a note to your files requesting this. If you require names to be used, rather than numeric identifiers, please provide a speaker log with your audio. Where no speaker log is provided, please understand that we can only identify/differentiate numerically on a best attempts basis and as such this may not be possible for large focus groups.

Example 1:
Facilitator: Hi, I am the facilitator, the client has not requested identification for this file.
Male: Hi, I am an interviewee with a male voice.
Male: Hi, I am an interviewee with a male voice.
Female: Hi, I am an interviewee with a female voice.
Male: Hi, I am an interviewee with a male voice. I could be one of the two males who have already spoken or a new participant.

Example 2:
Facilitator: Hi, I am the facilitator and the client has requested speakers be identified by number.
Male 1: Hi, I am an interviewee with a male voice.
Male 2: Hi, I am an interviewee with a different male voice to the first male.
Female: Hi, I am an interviewee with a female voice.
Male 1: Hi, I sound like I am Male 1 again.

Example 3:
Facilitator: Hi, I am the facilitator and the client has requested speakers be identified by name.
John: Hi, I am John.
James: Hi, I am the interviewee James. While I do not mention my name, other participants call me James so I am identified as such.
Jane: Hi, I am Jane.
John: I have not mentioned my name again, but the typist has been provided a speaker log so knows it is me speaking.

Research Transcription: Know Your Options

Knowing what options are available to you is important in deciding on the format for your transcription. The more accurate the identification of speakers, the more likely this requirement will incur an additional cost, however closer identification of speakers may not be a priority for the purposes of your research.

Sterling Transcription is able to help with formatting documents in a way which allows automatic synchronisation with the audio when input into analysis software you might be using, such as NVivo, Leximancer or AtlasTI, and has a proven track record of transcribing audio recordings quickly and professionally.

So for help, advice and transcription services for research and university transcription, contact Sterling Transcription – on-line, on-time and on-call transcription.

About Sterling Transcription

Catherine's work with Pacific Solutions Pty Ltd spans many areas, including writing and design, business development, training, and of course, keeping abreast of emerging trends and new products which enhance transcription and dictation experiences for clients.
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