What Are The Types Of Transcription In Qualitative Research

André Bastié
André Bastié
Posted in Transcription
5 min read
What Are The Types Of Transcription In Qualitative Research

Exploring the pivotal roles of various transcription types in qualitative research, from verbatim to AI-powered methods.

In qualitative research, transcription forms the backbone of the entire study, as it is a process that involves converting audio or video data into a written form. This method captures the spoken words, emotions, and context, providing a comprehensive information perspective. The importance of transcription in qualitative research cannot be overstated, as it ensures all data is accurately recorded and can be analyzed in depth.

At its core, transcription in qualitative research is about creating a text-based record of the spoken word. This record can then be reviewed and analyzed to conclude the research subject. These transcripts can be incredibly detailed, capturing not just what was said but how it was said, the tone and pitch of the voice, and even the non-verbal cues that can add depth and context to the data.

Different types of transcription are used in qualitative research, each with its strengths and weaknesses, and each appropriate for different types of research. The three main types of transcription include verbatim transcription, intelligent transcription, and edited transcription.

Understanding these types and their application is key to choosing the most suitable method for your research. The type of transcription you choose can significantly impact the outcomes of your study; hence, it's crucial to make an informed decision. In our next sections, we will delve deeper into these different types of transcription, outlining their characteristics, advantages, and potential drawbacks.

What Are The Types Of Transcription In Qualitative Research

The role of verbatim transcription in qualitative research

The role of verbatim transcription in qualitative research is pivotal, providing a detailed and precise written account of audio or video files. This transcription type captures every utterance, pause, laughter, emotion, and non-verbal communication from the original audio or video file. The final transcript replicates the spoken words, offering researchers a comprehensive and authentic data record. Below are some of the uses of verbatim transcription in qualitative research:

A detailed understanding of the participants

Verbatim transcription is instrumental in studies that require a deep understanding of the participants' emotions, attitudes, and behaviors. It provides context that might otherwise be lost if only the main points were transcribed. For instance, a person’s tone or hesitation could provide valuable insights that might be missed if not for verbatim transcription.

Keeping the authenticity of the research in check

Moreover, verbatim transcription is paramount in maintaining the integrity of the research. By capturing every detail of the conversation, it reduces the chances of misinterpretation and bias, thereby ensuring the reliability and credibility of the research findings. This type of transcription is often used in different research areas, including psychology, sociology, anthropology, and legal studies, where the nuanced understanding of the human experience is crucial.

However, it is important to note that verbatim transcription can be time-consuming and requires high accuracy. It demands expertise to accurately transcribe filler words, false starts, stutters, and other speech characteristics. Despite this challenge, the richness of the data it provides makes it an invaluable tool in qualitative research.

What Are The Types Of Transcription In Qualitative Research

Exploring intelligent transcription and its applications

Intelligent transcription, also known as smart transcription, is a relatively new player in the field of qualitative research. This type of transcription relies on advanced technology, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), to convert recorded speech into written text. Intelligent transcription can revolutionize qualitative research by offering a faster, more accurate way to transcribe interviews, focus groups, and other types of verbal data. Here are some benefits intelligent transcription provides:


One of the main benefits of intelligent transcription is its speed. Traditional transcription methods can be time-consuming, with a single audio hour taking up to four hours to transcribe manually. On the other hand, intelligent transcription can transcribe the same amount of audio in a fraction of the time. This can significantly speed up the research process, allowing researchers to focus more on data analysis than transcription.

Enhanced accuracy level

Additionally, intelligent transcription offers a higher level of accuracy compared to manual methods. Through machine learning and other advanced technologies, smart transcription tools can accurately identify different speakers, understand context, and even make sense of complex technical jargon. This can result in a more precise and reliable transcription, which is crucial for ensuring the validity of qualitative research.

Data analysis

Another vital application of intelligent transcription is in the analysis of data. Many smart transcription tools also include features for qualitative data analysis, such as keyword tagging and text search. This can make it easier for researchers to identify patterns and themes in their data, leading to more insightful and comprehensive research findings.

However, it's worth noting that intelligent transcription has its limitations. For instance, these tools may need help understanding heavily accented speech or deciphering overlapping voices in a group discussion. Therefore, while intelligent transcription can enhance qualitative research, it should be used in conjunction with, rather than as a replacement for, traditional transcription methods.

The importance of edited transcription in research studies

Edited transcription, also known as intelligent or clean transcription, is a crucial type of transcription in qualitative research. This method involves editing the transcriptions to eliminate unnecessary content, including filler words, redundancies, and other non-verbal cues. Edited transcription aims to provide an accurate yet simplified version of the recorded data, preserving the essential meaning while improving readability and comprehension.


In research studies, the importance of edited transcription cannot be overstated. First, it saves time for the researcher. Reading through raw transcriptions can take time due to the inclusion of unnecessary information and unstructured data. Edited transcriptions, on the other hand, are streamlined and concise, making it easier and faster for researchers to analyze the data and derive insights.

Better clarity

Furthermore, edited transcription enhances the clarity of the data. By removing all the 'noise' from the transcription, researchers can focus on the discussion's key points and essence. This clarity is vital in accurately interpreting the data and ensuring the validity of the research findings.

Suited for readers

Additionally, edited transcriptions are more reader-friendly, making them suitable for wider dissemination. Whether the transcriptions are being used for presentations, publications, or reports, the edited version ensures that the audience can easily understand the content and follow the flow of the discussion. This can significantly improve the impact and reach of the research findings.

Ethical concerns

Lastly, edited transcription also ensures ethical considerations in research. By eliminating potentially sensitive or irrelevant information, researchers can maintain participant anonymity and ensure that the published data focuses solely on the research objectives.

In summary, editing transcription in research studies can significantly enhance data analysis, increase readability, save time, and ensure ethical standards, making it an invaluable tool in qualitative research.

What Are The Types Of Transcription In Qualitative Research

Phonetic transcription: a tool for linguistic research

Phonetic transcription is a unique type of transcription used predominantly in the field of linguistics. This method involves transcribing spoken language into written form using phonetic symbols. These symbols represent specific sounds or phonemes, which are not usually differentiated in standard written language. Phonetic transcription offers a precise and accurate representation of the sounds made in speech, making it a critical tool for linguistic research.

Phonetic transcription is instrumental in qualitative research involving different dialects, accents, and languages. For instance, it can help researchers understand the subtle nuances in pronouncing words across various language groups. This kind of transcription can provide an in-depth understanding of speech's phonetic and phonological aspects, like rhythm, intonation, and stress patterns. Phonetic transcription can be crucial for research in fields like sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and phonology.

There are two main types of phonetic transcription: broad and narrow. Broad transcription provides a general representation of sounds, while narrow transcription offers a more detailed account of the exact sounds and features of speech. The choice between broad and narrow transcription would depend on the specific needs of the research.

The key to effective phonetic transcription is a thorough understanding of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), a system of phonetic notation that provides a standardized way to represent the sounds of any spoken language. The IPA includes symbols for consonants, vowels, diacritics, and suprasegmentals, allowing for a comprehensive speech transcription.

While phonetic transcription may seem complex and time-consuming, it is an invaluable tool for linguistic research. It provides researchers with a detailed record of spoken language, enabling them to analyze and understand the intricate patterns and complexities of human speech.

The Role Of Happy Scribe In Ensuring Several Types Of Transcription For Qualitative Research

When conducting an interview or focus group, there’s a tendency for the data collection procedure to be time-consuming. Once the data has been obtained, it must be transcribed for analysis. This is where qualitative research transcription enters the picture. It makes it easier for academics to analyze and interpret data. However, there are various methods of qualitative data transcription, each with its advantages and disadvantages. That’s why having a transcription service offering many of these transcription services is vital.

Happy Scribe is a transcription and subtitling service that transcribes your audio and video content using AI-powered technology. We provide various services, such as automated transcribing, human transcription, and subtitling, and are known for being accurate, quick, and economical. We also have a user-friendly interface that makes it simple to upload and manage transcription tasks.

Happy Scribe transcribes your audio and video content using AI-powered technology, which means you'll get your transcripts faster and cheaper than manual transcription services. The tool’s easy-to-use interface allows you to upload and manage your transcription assignments without transcription experience. That’s not all. Happy Scribe also supports over 119 languages, making it an excellent choice for organizations and professionals who work on multilingual content.

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Transcribing interviews can be time-consuming, but there are ways to do it faster. Break the interview into smaller chunks, use speech recognition software, and make use of transcription services. Utilize keyboard shortcuts and familiarize yourself with the content to further increase your speed.