Transcription: Imperatives for Qualitative Research
Christina Davidson, PhD
Transcription is a practice central to qualitative research, yet the literature that addresses transcription presents it as taken for granted in qualitative studies. In this article the author provides a review of three decades of literature on transcription between 1979 and 2009. The review establishes core understandings and issues that have informed the transcription literature, including the ways it is said that transcription is overlooked in qualitative research. Discussion of the literature raises the need for more empirical studies that examine transcription in qualitative research, and suggests specific questions that qualitative researchers might address in relation to transcription and its reporting.
The first step in Data Analysis: Transcribing and managing qualitative research data
Researchers need to take data from the spoken text (structured, unstructured, or narrative interviews) to written form for analysis. Typically this is handled through deidentifying the participants and transcribing the data, and is considered the first step in analysis. The accuracy of the transcription plays a role in determining the accuracy of the data that are analyzed and with what degree of dependability. Analysis begins after reviewing the first interview to examine whether participants are responding to the research question related to your area of interest in diabetes, or whether your interview guide needs refining. As each interview is completed, the researcher examines its content to determine what has been learned and what still needs to be discovered or needs elaboration. Moving from raw interviews to evidence-based interpretations requires preparing transcripts so they will be ready to code. Before moving directing to analysis (or coding), it is important to recognize the task of handling the qualitative research data during and after the interview. This paper describes the process of transcription and handling the qualitative data related to diabetes research.