John Alcock and Ron Iphofen examine a method to assist with interview transcription using free, open source computer software and digital recordings, and consider some underlying practical, ethical and philosophical issues
Interviews are one of the most familiar qualitative research strategies employed to obtain data using recording and transcribing techniques. The aim of this paper is to examine a method to assist with full or selective transcriptions using free, open source computer software and digital recordings, and to consider some underlying practical, ethical and philosophical issues. This software does not transcribe a recording automatically into text but can act as an aid to the researcher by reducing the recording into manageable segments for transcription or insertion into data analysis software. The techniques involved could enable researchers to be more independent, reflexive and potentially more cost-effective. By reducing the need for externally employed transcribers and the ethical and economic implications this brings, closeness to the data can be maintained with user-friendly textual and graphical displays. There is also the potential to enhance reliability and validity, and thus enhance the authenticity of the transcript. Output from the transcription software can be tailored for export to specific qualitative analysis packages, forming a seamless bridge between the initial interview recording and subsequent textual analysis. This paper offers an overview of computer assisted software transcription and raises important methodological issues for consideration by researchers contemplating using the process.
Nurse Researcher. 15, 1, 16-26. doi: 10.7748/nr2007.10.15.1.16.c6051
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