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Customising Your Transcript – How Sterling can produce a transcript that’s right for YOU!

Customising your transcript with our optional formatting and transcription styles that are guaranteed to save you time!

At Sterling Transcription we know each client has individual needs and one kind of transcript may not suit everyone. That’s why we offer a range of templates, formatting options and transcription styles, so you can customise your transcripts, and our services, to fit your needs.

From use in qualitative analysis to easy-to-read telephone interviews, from complex terminology to large focus group transcription, transcripts serve a range of different purposes, so why should they look exactly the same? You may need to quickly draw meaning for analysis or find your place in the middle of a recording, or maybe the inclusion of false starts, ums and ahs or non-verbal cues are CRITICAL to the interpretation of the text.

We understand the one-size-fits-all approach just isn’t suitable and want to work with you to create the best transcript for YOU!

Read on to learn which of how customising your transcript might save you time and make your life easier!


Speaker Identification

The standard Sterling transcript labels speakers by ‘Facilitator’ and ‘Interviewee’ or by gender when there are multiple interviewees . For one-on-one interviews this is perfectly fine, however for group interviews it can quickly become a tad confusing when reading the transcript.

Attributing dialogue to individual speakers can be a hassle. This is why we offer speaker identification. Let us do the grunt work for you!

You can choose to assign names, numbers or your own codes to each speaker. That way you can know straight away who has said what, without wasting your valuable time listening to the recording over and over. It also helps if you need to search for individual speakers and quickly draw information for analysis.

Example: Without Speaker Identification

Without Speaker ID Example
Without Speaker ID Example

Example: With Speaker Identification

With Speaker ID Example
With Speaker ID Example


On the other hand, if confidentiality is of utmost importance there is also the option to de-identify the transcript. You can choose to have any reference of the speaker’s name replaced with [de-identified], or furthermore any mention of businesses, places or all names.

Example: De-identification

De-identification Example
De-identification Example

Line & Paragraph Numbering

Adding numbering to your transcript makes it easy to find your place and take notes as you analyse the transcript. Customise your transcript by customising the line numbering however you like – every line, paragraph or every 20 lines, it’s up to you!


Line Numbering Example
Line Numbering Example


We also offer timestamping, which helps enormously if you want to listen to the recording while reading the transcript. Although after a lot of practice I can now eyeball one minute’s worth of words, for others it can often take a long time to find your place in the middle of a recording. Adding in timestamps, whether it’s every minute or every five, can save a lot of time and frustration on your behalf.


Time Stamps Example
Timestamping Example

Transcription Style

Intelligent Verbatim

Intelligent Verbatim is the standard transcription style that 90% of our clients’ request. Typists don’t include filler words such as ‘um’, ‘you know’ and ‘like’. False sentence starts and repetition are removed and non-verbal cues are only added if they clearly change the meaning of a speaker’s words.

For example [laughs] will be inserted if the speaker has made a joke that might not translate through text. This makes the final product clear, concise and most importantly; easy to read. Customising your transript by applying this style suits most researchers where linguistic analysis is not required.


Intelligent Verbatim Example
Intelligent Verbatim Example

Strict Verbatim

Strict Verbatim adds in all the things intelligent verbatim leaves out. It is essentially an exact transcription of what is said – false starts, repetition and filler words included. Grammatically incorrect idiosyncrasies are typed as said by the speaker.


Strict Verbatim Example
Strict Verbatim Example

Conversational Analysis

Conversational Analysis is transcribed using Strict Verbatim, however it also includes all non-verbal cues such as [laughs], [coughs] and symbols to denote pauses, pace and tone. Customising your transcript using this style of transcription suits qualitative researchers whose analysis derives meaning from the non-verbal cues and how something is said not just what is said.

Read more about conversational analysis here.


Conversational Analysis Example
Conversational Analysis Example


Nvivo, Leximanicer & ATLAS.ti

These templates have been designed to work perfectly with qualitative analysis software. If you are planning on using Nvivo, Leximanicer or ATLAS.ti, it is highly recommended that your transcript be completed on one of these templates to prevent formatting and compatibility issues. This way you can easily load your transcript into the programs without having to fiddle around with it beforehand.

Our basic template is perfect for most interviews. The headers and footers on our standard templates are removed along with our logo for a seamless upload into qualitative analysis software.

Headings Simple
As with Basic, our Heading Simple template removes headers and footers. It also uses Microsoft Word’s headings function for speaker labels.

Headings Questions
Using a pre-set list of interview questions you give us, this template is laid out accordingly also using the headings function. The headings templates are flexible and individualised, we are happy to adapt transcripts to suit your needs.

This format is only compatible with versions NVivo8 and later. All speaker turns are time-coded and formatted for an easy import into NVivo. Once imported, the transcript will automatically synchronise with the original video or audio recording of the interview or focus group, meaning you can watch the video and see the transcript scrolling in sync, or click on any turn in the transcript to bring up the relevant section in the video.

Use your own template

If you have a specific template you would like your audio transcribed in, we’re more than happy to accommodate you. This way you can have everything laid out just how you like it when you receive the transcript. No need to spend your time formatting the document in Word.

If you would like to know more about customising your transcripts to suit your specific needs, talk with us! We’re just a phone call away – FREEPHONE 0800 910 1410.

Written by Cassandra Carse.

This entry was posted in Focus Groups, Interviews, Qualitative Research, Research Transcription and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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