Considerations and Recommendations on outsourcing to internet-based transcription services - Garry Tan


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Academic Transcription: Considerations and Recommendations on outsourcing to internet-based transcription services

Presented at QRWEBA2011 conference in Macau SAR

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Considerations and Recommendations on outsourcing to internet-based transcription services - Garry Tan

  1. 1. QRWEB Asia 20111st Asia-Pacific conference on Qualitative Research in Web 2.0 University of Macau, 22 & 23 Feb Macau, China Academic Transcription: Considerations and Recommendations on outsourcing to internet-based transcription services Garry Tan MEd. Mgt. with Dist. (UWA), BTech. ID (Monash) & Dip.Arch.Tech. (Singapore Polytechnic) Doctoral Candidate, Doctor in Education (EdD) Graduate School of Education (GSE), University of Western Australia (UWA), Australia. Senior Lecturer School of Design (SDN), Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), Singapore.
  2. 2. Key Takeaways"Singaporeans are the most culinary homesick people in the world." - Calvin Trillin1. More research on transcription as part of methodology needed (1c)2. Impact of transcription on qualitative research (2e)3. Justification of internet-based transcription services (4f) COVER QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
  4. 4. 1. INTRODUCTIONa)Globalization (background)b)Singapore (background)c)Problems identifiedd)Research Contexte)Research Scopef) Benefits
  5. 5. 1a. GlobalizationGlobalization & Impact of Technology Multifaceted, liberal, and liberating process Shift from international to transnational networks of trade, investment & finance Easy access to information, technology and entertainment, Creates a level competitive level playing field in the global marketplace. Creates cultural corridors… OVERVIEW 1. INTRODUCTION
  6. 6. 1b. SingaporeSingapore’s Developmental Approach 1960s: Independence & Economic Uncertainty 1970s: Skills Intensive Industries 1980s: Information Technology & High Tech. Indus. 1990s: Technology and Service Industries 2000s: Innovation, Knowledge & R&DNeed for Talents in Higher Education Focus on R&D, Need for all kinds of Talents Internationalization of Higher Education2nd Most “Cool” (Geek) Nation on Earth Straits Times, 23rd Jan 2011 OVERVIEW 1. INTRODUCTION
  7. 7. 1c. ProblemsIn general, researchers point out that not enough research is done on transcription and its influence as part of the qualitative research paradigm (Brooks, 2010; Lapadat, 1998; Oliver, 2005; Tilley, 2002)According to Tilley 2002: Transcribers  Have little knowledge about transcription (experience),  Researchers often don’t communicate with them (communication),  Face many challenges in completing their work (resources), and  They had to make “on-the-spot” decisions about transcribing (Value-added). OVERVIEW Key Takeaway 1. INTRODUCTION
  8. 8. 1d. Research Context Part of Doctoral Study  Paradigm: Qualitative  Focus: Design Leadership & Management  Industry: Creative, Applied Arts Stream, Product Design Specialisation  Method: Case study, Interviews  Triangulation: Focus group OVERVIEW 1. INTRODUCTION
  9. 9. 1e. Research Scope Limited to transcriptions in the context of:  Denaturalised/ Generic/ Academic Transcription “speech to text” and not “on conversion to phonetic or phonemic symbols”  Doctoral Research, Qualitative Paradigm  Mostly In-depth Interviews (one to one) and Focus group interviews (many)  Unsponsored Graduate Student (Value-for-money, money is a limitation) in Singapore  Already has resources, such as computers, broadband service with wireless network and digital recording devices  Willing to verify data after transcription process OVERVIEW 1. INTRODUCTION
  10. 10. 1f. Benefits People most likely to benefit  Postgraduates/scholars currently in doctoral programs  Postgraduates/scholars who will or are currently conducting research in the qualitative paradigm  Researchers/scholars who are interested in current trends in academic transcription and its services OVERVIEW 1. INTRODUCTION
  11. 11. 2. LITERATURE REVIEWa)Keywords & Definitions: “Out-sourcing” & “Web-based Services”b)Keywords & Definitions: “Denaturalised Transcription”c) Transcription Categoriesd)Impact of Transcription
  12. 12. 2a. DefinitionsAccording to Wikipedia & Out-Sourcing  “Outsourcing is often viewed as involving the contracting out of a business function - commonly one previously performed in-house - to an external provider”  “to subcontract out (jobs, services, etc)” Internet-based Companies/ Web-based Services  “A dot-com company, or simply a dot-com, is a company that does most of its business on the Internet, usually through a website that uses the popular top-level domain, ".com" (in turn derived from the word "commercial")”  “of, relating to, or using the world wide web: web-based applications” OVERVIEW 2. LITERATURE REVIEW
  13. 13. 2b. “Denaturalised”According to Wikipedia & Transcription/ Transcribing  “the process of converting speech into written or electronic text documents”  “to make a written copy, especially a typewritten copy (of dictated material, notes taken during a lecture, or other spoken materials)” Denaturalised Transcription (Oliver, 2005)  Transcription practices…two modes: naturalism, in which every utterance is transcribed in as much detail as possible, and  Denaturalism, in which idiosyncratic elements of speech (eg. Stutters, pauses, nonverbals, involuntary vocalisations) are removed. Denaturalised transcripts suggest that within speech are meanings and perceptions that construct reality (Cameron, 2001). OVERVIEW 2. LITERATURE REVIEW
  14. 14. 2c. Transcription TypesReview of Transcription Service Types Generic/ Academic  Speeches, Presentations, Lectures, Seminars, Conferences, Interviews & Dissertation research (one-to-one)  Focus-groups and Panel Discussions (many) Business & Finance  Dictation, Phone calls, Correspondences and Reports (one-to-one)  Conference calls, Meetings, Market research (many) Audio-Visual Media  Digital Podcasts, Streamed Sermons, Television Programmes, Media (audio) productions, Documentaries, Televised Interviews Medical  Forensic, Medical Legal  Legal deposition and judicial (may include translations too) OVERVIEW 2. LITERATURE REVIEW
  15. 15. 2d. Transcription ImpactTranscription and its impact on Qualitative Research. Transcription is not data, it  Is a methodological process  Is “first level” interpretation  Influenced by Transcribers abilities & skills, orientation, perception & interpretation, and  Influences researchers’ view on data. OVERVIEW 2. LITERATURE REVIEW
  16. 16. 3. METHODOLOGYa)Survey Processb)Keywords Used in Searchc) Email ITQ Formatd)Email ITQ Specificationse)Email ITQ InformationOVERVIEW 4. FINDINGS & DISCUSSION
  17. 17. 3a. Survey Process Wed, 28 Jul 2010 to Fri, 18 Jun 2010 1: Information Search (Concurrent)  Keyword Searches  Good Practices  Digital Recording 2: Email Invitation to Quote (EITQ) 3: Compile Costing & Criteria 4: Repeat (Saturation or Timed-out)OVERVIEW 3. METHODOLOGY
  18. 18. 3b. Keywords Used Keyword Search with Google Search First Set: Transcription related  “Transcription Services”, “Academic Transcription”, “Freelance Transcription”, “Doctoral Transcription”, “Transcriptionist Singapore” Second Set: Practice related  “Good practices in Transcription”, “Transcription practices”, “How to do a proper transcription for interviews” Third Set: Recording device related  “Selecting the best recording device for interviews”, “digital recording devices for interviews”, “recording interviews”, “recording devices for transcription” OVERVIEW 3. METHODOLOGY
  19. 19. 3c. Email ITQ (Format)Email Invitation to Quote (EITQ) Standard email format used for all quotation. Contacted the following:  3 Freelance (SG, Non-Professional)  6 SG Companies (Professional)  2 Global Companies (Professional)  4 Internet Companies (Mixed)  1 Web-based Company (Mixed)* Respond between 24 hrs to 14 days Responses consolidated in Yahoo! Mail. * OVERVIEW 3. METHODOLOGY
  20. 20. 3d. Email ITQ – (Specs.) Specifications:  One Case (5 segments) approx 180 mins.  Language: English (Singapore)  Accent: Singaporean/ Neutral (English as first language)  Format: Clear Digital Recording, MP3 Upload  Transcription Type: Generic/ Academic  No time coding required  Turn Around Time (TAT): Standard 3-5 days Quotation for:  1) Per Project (All 30 interviews, 1 interview=90 mins)  2) Per Audio Minute (PAM) Interpolation for:  Case Study of 5 segments (1 case = 180 minutes)OVERVIEW 3. METHODOLOGY
  21. 21. 3e. Email ITQ (Info.) Additional Information requested of companies regarding:  Assurance on Confidentiality for Project  Training & Experience of Transcriptionist  Data Upload & Backup Charges (if any)  Preferred working process (if any)  Unstated or additional charges  Discounts for Graduate StudentsOVERVIEW 3. METHODOLOGY
  22. 22. 4. FINDINGS/DISCUSSIONa) General Practiceb) Service Quality: Skills & Confidentialityc) Service Quality: Reliability & Valued) Costing Factorse) Info Consolidationf) Justification for Internet-based Transcription Services (IBTS)OVERVIEW 5. SUMMARY & CONCLUSION
  23. 23. 4a. General PracticeGeneral Practice/ Expectations:  Client responsible for Checking/ Proofing transcripts  Quotation does not include Time stamping or using Structured transcription formats, additional costs applies  Transcriptionist (at their discretion) will “drop” segments which they consider irrelevant (habits of speech, grammatical errors, announcements and end remarks etc.), irreverent (the use of strong language like swearing etc.) or inaudible (background noise, two person talking at once, mumbling etc).  The definition of “poor recording” can be arbitrary (can be defined as anything from accent, background noise, and interruptions)OVERVIEW 4. FINDINGS & DISUCSSION
  24. 24. 4b. Skills/ Confidentiality Service Quality defined as:  Skills of Transcriptionist (experience)  Adequately trained (with certification)  Comprehend different accents (Singlish?)  Adapt to different layout & transcription styles  Accuracy of Transcripts (is it really 99%?)  Confidentiality & Ethics (communication)  Written/ published guarantee of confidentiality  Database Backup and 128-bit Encryption  Ethical Standards (HIPPA)OVERVIEW 4. FINDINGS & DISCUSSION
  25. 25. 4c. Reliability/ Value Service Quality defined as:  Service Reliability (Resources for Transcribers)  24-7/365 service or as little down time as possible, similarly company protocol don’t get in the way  Flexible Turn-around-time (TAT)  Accept different audio-video files  Easy Web-based File upload, preferably free as part of the overall service experience  Service Value (Transcriber’s value)  Easy project costing & payment, no complex fee structure and payment methods or schedules  Friendly/ Can negotiate/ Adaptable (no barriers)  Based in Singapore, preferably  Bonus: Allow service trials, Group discounts, Graduate student priceOVERVIEW 4. FINDINGS & DISCUSSION
  26. 26. 4d. Costing FactorsFactors that increases transcription costs – not in any order:  Accent: Neutral accent preferred  Difficulty/ Effort: Quality of Recording, Amount of background noise  Format: Specialized layout  Format: Wave (Expensive), MP3 (Cheaper)  Time Code: Time Stamping  Turn-Around-Time: Less is more!  Vocabulary: Technical or MedicalOVERVIEW 4. FINDINGS & DISCUSSION
  27. 27. 4e. Info. Consolidation1. Local Freelance  No response even after survey period, mix group, whenever they are free, confidentiality?, have to know them personally (i.e. via recommendations)2. “Brick & Mortar” Singapore Companies  Most expensive (S$420 per transcript), professional skills, not 24/7, confidentiality, managers may be transcribers themselves (many years of working experience)3. “Brick & Mortar” Global Companies  Competitive pricing (S$360 per transcript), professional skills, not 24/7, confidentiality, professional qualifications/ certifications (typing, transcribing, secretarial, etc)4. Internet-based Companies  Value for money (S$120 per transcript), “internally trained transcribers”, “Assured Confidentiality”, 24/7, “manager will relay message with transcribers/researchers”5. Internet-based Freelance  Prices can vary with experience (S$50 per transcript or US$10 per audio hour), flexible arrangements, quality depends on individuals (training), may not be able to contact transcribers freelyOVERVIEW 4. FINDINGS & DISCUSSION
  28. 28. 4f. Justification for IBTSContrasted with traditional transcription:  Experience (good)  Internally trained, experience sharing good  Communication (excellent)  responsive (reply within 6 hrs)  accommodating (only after a while)  open, questions gets answered  Resources (acceptable)  fast (3 to 4 days TAT)  Did not deliver on time (i.e. 5 days max)  Service Value (balance)  Reliable Transcripts with acceptable margins of error (accent – Singlish, context or names of people, like Mr. Sim = Mr. Singh)OVERVIEW 4. FINDINGS & DISCUSSION
  29. 29. 5. SUMMARY/CONCLUSIONa. Summary of Presentationb. Future Needsc. Conclusion OVERVIEW QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
  30. 30. 5a. SummaryThree Takeaways: 1. More research on transcription as part of methodology needed (1c) 2. Impact of transcription on qualitative research (2e) 3. Justification of internet-based transcription services (4f)OVERVIEW 5. SUMMARY & CONCLUSION
  31. 31. 5b. ImprovementsAccording to Tilley 2002 Area for Improvements Have little knowledge about  Shared “on-the-job transcription (experience), experiences” contrasted with professional Researchers often don’t certifications communicate with them  Allows limited or indirect (communication), communication with transcribers Face many challenges in  Challenges remains, completing their work (resources), and transcriber’s resources are not transparent They had to make “on-the-  Value-added work mostly spot” decisions about accurate but checking by transcribing (Value-added). researchers compulsoryOVERVIEW 5. SUMMARY & CONCLUSION
  32. 32. 5c. Conclusion More Research: Although transcription is located within the qualitative paradigm, approaches to transcription and its processes may involves a paradigm that can influence the integrity of the research. Impact of Transcription: Researchers should incorporate reflection into their research design by interrogating their transcription decisions and the possible impact these decisions may have on participants and research outcomes (Oliver, 2005). Justification: Internet-based transcription services provides researchers a reliable and a value-for-money service alternative if they are going for denaturalised transcription that does not involve sensitive topics. Transcripts are representations of the recording and the actual interview. Verification with the audio recording and any documentation taken during the interview will help with a better understanding. OVERVIEW 5. SUMMARY & CONCLUSION
  33. 33. ReferencesBROOKS, C. (2010) Embodied Transcription: A creative method for using voice-recognition software. The Qualitative Report, 15, 1227- 1241.FORBAT, L. & HENDERSON, J. (2005) Theoretical and practical reflections on sharing transcripts with participants. Qualitative Health Research, 15, 1114-1128.GIVEN, L. M. (2004) Mini-disc recorders: A new approach for qualitative interviewing. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 3.LANE, V. (1996) Typists influences on transcription: Aspects of feminist nursing epistemic rigour. Nursing Inquiry, 3, 159-166.LAPADAT, J. C. & LINDSAY, A. C. (1998) Examining Transcription: A theory-laden methodology. American Educational Research Association. San Diego, CA.OLIVER, D. G., SEROVICH, J. M. & MASON, T. L. (2005) Constraints and opportunities with interview transcription: Towards reflection in qualitative research. Social Forces, 84, 1273-1289.TILLEY, S. A. & POWICK, K. D. (2002) Distanced data: Transcribing other peoples research tapes. Canadian Journal of Education, 27, 291-310.
  34. 34. Question & Answer? Garry Tan MEd. Mgt. with Dist. (UWA), BTech. ID (Monash) & Dip.Arch.Tech. (Singapore Polytechnic) Doctoral Candidate, Doctor in Education (EdD) Graduate School of Education (GSE), University of Western Australia (UWA) Australia School of Design (SDN), Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) Singapore 65-81801367COVER OVERVIEW
  35. 35. Presented at the Asia-Pacific conference on Qualitative Research in Web 2.0 22 & 23 Feb 2011, Macau SAR For more information Please visit: