Notes On Transcription

Transcription is commonly understood as a more or less routine process where spoken language is converted/transcribed into text. While this is the pragmatic position you will likely take in preliminary research methods tasks like this one, as you develop your thoughts around this particular part of data collection it is important to be aware that there are ways of thinking about the process of transcription that paint a very different picture. Here is a short list of useful references which will open up some of the issues.

As you pick your way through some of these the distinction between data and analysis will likely become a little less clear.

Oliver, Daniel G., Serovich, Julianne M., & Mason, Tina L. (2005), Constraints and Opportunities with Interview Transcription: Towards Reflection in Qualitative Research, Social Forces, 84, 2; pp. 1273-12891.

Ross, Jen (200), [*This is available via the library, i.e. search for Social Forces and then access the journal Was 
translation]. The draft online paper argues that transcription is more akin to translation than the simple conversion of recorded spoken speech into written speech.

Lapadat, Judith C. & Lindsay, Anne C. (1999), Transcription in Research and Practice: From Standardization of Technique to Interpretive Positionings, Qualitative Inquiry, 5:1, pp. 64-862.

McLellan, E., MacQueen, K. M., & Neidig, J. L. (2003). Beyond the qualitative interview: Data preparation and transcription, Field Methods, 15(1), 63-84

A useful and recent review is offered by Chistina Davidson at CQU:

Davidson, C. (2009). Transcription: Imperatives for qualitative research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 8(2), 36-52.

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