Transcription services for universities and students

Transcription Services

Transcription services are required more frequently as modern educational institutions have become extremely research-oriented. With an immense load of assignments, research projects and dissertations, students’ lives have never been busier. Transcription services for students and universities include transcribing research interviews, focus group interviews and any discussions between students and experts. It is basically converting all your audio and visual aids into a written form. This makes lives incredibly easier for students and researchers who can focus on other more important aspects of their research. Having a professional university transcription service has many advantages. Some of them are:

transcription services for universities and studentsHigh Quality Transcription Services

Converting the message into an accurately written format is an important part of transcription. If this is not done reliably, it can affect the quality of your research and hence your grade. This makes finding a suitable transcription service an equally important part of your thesis or dissertation. Excellent university transcription services provide high quality transcripts leaving no room for errors.

For more information click here – Transcription Services

Increased Flexibility

Transcribing the information you gathered through audio or video can be a daunting task. It can be quite boring and tiresome which can really hurt your creative energy for the rest of your research. University transcription services provide you with immense flexibility over the completion of your projects. Most of the researchers and postgraduates have very busy lives. Some of them even have families. Having their huge data accurately transcribed will give them some freedom over their lives. They can give more time to their families and other endeavours that they hope to accomplish.

Professional Services

Having accurately transcribed data is essential to the quality of your research. Transcription is not easy and is a skill that requires training and practice. Isabel’s transcription services have got thorough professionals who have great expertise in the field. They transcribe thousands of documents which makes them reliable. You will not have to double-check these transcripts and can directly use them to further analyse them.

Timely Delivery

Outsourcing academic transcription saves a lot of your time and ensures that everything is ready ahead of time. In the midst of tight schedules and strict deadlines, our transcription services come in very handy. Typing is carried out by skilled professionals who understand the need for timely delivery of your projects. This releases a lot of burden from your shoulders.

Remarkable Peace of Mind

Having a professional transcription service guarantees you peace of mind. You just have to find a trusted transcription service. This will help you in completing your research projects before the deadlines. As students and researchers, it will make your lives a lot manageable and save you from the burden of transcribing all the information accurately.

A Quality Transcription Service = Better Grades

Grades are the most important part of a student’s life. Having better grades open up a lot of doors and opportunities. Outsourcing transcription services will eventually lead to better results. This is because you will know that you have got the services of a professional transcriber and that everything is accurately transcribed. This will give you confidence and assurance to carry on with the rest of your project or thesis.

For more information on our transcription services contact us today

What’s best recording equipment for interviews?

There are some great devices on the market for recording interviews and even focus groups. I personally bought the Olympus WS-100 a few years back and it is tiny and excellent. I’ve even used my phone to record my notes whilst walking down the street and the quality was good enough to have transcribed easily.

However, if you are recording something very important like interviews and focus groups you will probably want to invest in something better. So, to help you decide I found a few articles and reviews on equipment that may help you.

Remember always that no matter how good the equipment is that you are using it is best to plan your interview or focus group recordings properly. Here are a couple of article that may help:

Recording an audio interview for typing ease

How to properly prepare for an interview

The fist place I looked was Google shopping and sorted by reviews.

This will take you to the search I created to find it here.

Up to £100

In the up to £100 category in a Google shopping search the product with the highest reviews is the Sony ICD-PX333 Voice Recorder – 4 GB – 178 hrs SP – Black

£100-£300 Recorders

The Zoom H4n Voice Recorder – 1 GB – Silver/Black is a crazy looking device and looks like something outZoom-H4n-Voice Recorder of Star Trek or a a self defence Tazer.

Turn your world into a world-class recording studio with the H4n, the next level of portable recording from Zoom. Its onboard X/Y stereo condenser microphones are arranged with the right and left microphones on the same axis. This design ensures that the microphones are always an equal distance from the sound source for perfect localization without phase shifting.

The Yeti (yes it’s really called that)

This is another recording microphone that I bought a while back and love it.

You need a pc to hook it up to, but it is impressive.

I don’t know about you, but I find with most digital equipment it has a lot of buttons and settings, but they rarely make any difference. With the Yeti, the buttons and setting make all the difference and you can really hear the difference if you choose between single or multiple voices and other options.

This is a review on the Yeti from PC World, but it isn’t the one I bought.

The Guardian on recording devices for interview transcription

Dictation products are aimed at recording voices either for memo-taking or transcription. The main features are long recording times and long battery life. The audio requirement is clarity, not fidelity, so sound is usually mono, and a bit rate of 192kbps in Microsoft’s WMA (Windows Media Audio) format counts as “super high-quality” (SHQ).

This is looking at the low end of the market and they say your cheapest option is the Sony ICD-PX312, but there is maybe a better option on Amazon now which is the PX333.

They also suggest the Olympus VN-713PC (also via Amazon).

This is another WMA/MP3 mono voice recorder with USB connectivity, but it has 4GB of built-in storage and a microSD card slot instead of an SD slot. The VN-713PC has a neat little kick-stand built in, plus noise cancellation to reduce the effect of background noises such as air conditioning.

We also have an article on recording interviews on the i-phone and i-pad for easy transcription.

It offers some ideas on what free software was available to assist people with recording interviews on their i-phone and i-pads to then be sent to a transcription service for speedy transcribing.

100+ productivity tips to get you going

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

Walt Disney

If you are a university researcher or run a transcription services business you probably have a lot of responsibilities and a lot to do in a day. If the first thing on your TO DO list is – “how to get things done!” then you might like some of the ideas provided in the articles listed below.

My personal favourite method is using a quadrant that helps me split my list of tasks into the following categories-

Work smarter, not harder

Work smarter, not harder


However, I’ve created a hybrid of that using a fantastic tool called Evernote that I highly recommend.

But no matter how well you can plan your day and get “stuff” done, make sure the first URGENT and IMPORTANT task is to take time to work on yourself. You can have all the tools and systems in the world to smash your days to do’s, so prioritise time to set yourself up in the right frame of mind at least.

I created a really basic 33 page ebook on time management a few years back in 2012. The principles are still good and if you could use some help it is a very practical starting guide. It’s free and you don’t need to sign up or anything. Just click here and it should open in a new tab or window.

I notice reading some of the articles below that the fist one I open from has the following:

1. Start the day with structured ‘me time’: Go through email and social media updates that have piled up overnight and triage the backlog.

Now, I don’t want to argue with such an esteemed publication, but when I think of “me time”, I really mean it’s “all about me” – meditation, visualisation, getting into state, a few “attitudes of gratitude” and some exercise at the very minimum.

Here is the article

10 Simple Productivity Tips for Organizing Your Work Life

Productivity is all about efficiency — doing more, faster and with less.  And with increasing demands from today’s anytime, anywhere workplace, it is has never been more important. To get the most out of your day, you need to focus on these three segments of your life:


Here’s another 21 tips from Robin Sharma. I’ve heard a lot about this guy and will be learning some of his genius via his content very soon.

21 Tips to Become the Most Productive Person You Know

He contradicts instantly with his first tip:

#1. Check email in the afternoon so you protect the peak energy hours of your mornings for your best work.

#5. Sell your TV. You’re just watching other people get successful versus doing the things that will get you to your dreams. 

I finally did #5 this year and am so glad I managed to gather up the gumption to do so. I used to say that I only watched a couple of comedies in a week, but it was always a bit more and if over just the next 10 years I have just gained just one hour per day it means I’ve added 5 months of fun on to my life. 5 months! 

Here’s some sage advice from Neil Patel who I have followed for years writing for

16 Tips for Getting 90 Percent of Your Work Done Before Lunch

What I love about this is Neil hits the nail hard on the head by explaining the Pareto principle in relation to getting stuff done:

“The Pareto principle states that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your efforts. Getting your work done in the morning means that you can take a leaner approach to the important tasks–a smart approach.”

I learned on a course by the late and great Chet Holmes a method for taking that principle further. He stated and explained in detail that if you can reduce your to do list down to finding what the one task is that if you could achieve would affect everything else sometimes you would only need to do that one “thing” and everything else would be achieved as well without you having to do anything at all. He went on to state that sometimes you wouldn’t even need to do that one thing and it would all be achieved anyway. I can’t explain how, but it actually worked.

57 Peak Performance books in 10 minute videos

However, with that all said and done and some great advice from some great sources, I’ve left the best for last. Brian Johnson’s PhilosphersNotes.

Over 300 of the best self help, personal development books condensed into 10 minute videos and handy PDFs.

57 Peak Performance books that Brian has condensed for you and me. I love his stuff.

So, if there isn’t something amongst all that to get you sparked up and focused on your day, week, month, year, life ahead, go see a doctor 😉

I hope you enjoy and if you need transcription services, give me a call or drop me an email.

Starting your own transcripion services company

Working from home in your own transcription services company is great fun, very rewarding and life enhancing.  Before securing your first client you will need to select the type of legal structure for your new business. Among other things this will affect how much you pay in taxes and the paperwork you will be required to fill in.

There are several ways that a business can be legally structured and the most common options are “Self Employed” or “Limited Liability Company” or “Ltd” as it is normally referred to.

Work from Home Business Structures

The business structure you choose will affect:

  • Which authorities you have to notify that your business exists
  • The tax and National Insurance that you pay
  • The records and accounts that you have to keep
  • Your financial liability if the business runs into trouble
  • The ways your business can raise money
  • The way management decisions are made about the business

For a detailed explanation directly from a UK government source visit this informative site –  Choose a legal structure for a new business

Sole Trader

The easiest and most common option is to become a “Sole Trader”. There are no registration fees, it’s easy to set up and you don’t need to hire expensive accountants. However, if anything goes wrong, you are completely liable for all debts run up by your business.

Limited Company

Not so long ago you needed at least three people to start a limited company to act as Directors and Company Secretary.  It would take weeks to file the paperwork and become incorporated.  Today, you can start a limited company with just one person and be legally trading within a few minutes.

A limited company is an entity in its own right which means you will never be liable for the debts it incurs should things go wrong, unless you have given a personal guarantee.

You can set up your limited company today by going to SimpleFormations.  You can be incorporated and trading legally in business for just £29.95 (plus VAT), and the form filling process will only take a few minutes of your time.  The service also provides registered office addresses in a few major cities as well.

Read the next chapter “How to Appear Like a Big Company” to learn why a registered office may be important to you.

Partnerships and PLC

There are other ways to legally structure your business, and if you want to read more about this, click on the revenue services useful website – HMRC Starting Up in Business page.

You may want to seek professional advice on the best option for your transcription services company and your situation.

How To Appear Like A Big Company For FREE

The technology at our fingertips allows small businesses to compete with larger, more established companies.  If you are running a one-person operation but want to appear bigger the tools you need are only a few key strokes or mouse clicks away.

In fact some of the largest companies on the Internet only have a few employees working for them. Tumblr, until recently, only had small workforce yet there were more than 12 million blog members.  Most of my clients would never know that my business is home-based, and they would be probably be surprised to find out that I don’t do any of the work.

You can easily create the illusion of being a large typing business by using the Internet and virtual office solutions.  This is not about being deceitful, but leveraging your strengths and available technologies to level the playing field.

It is entirely possible (and indeed happens all the time) for small businesses to become leading players in their industries and compete very effectively with the big beasts in the jungle.  It all starts with the creation of a website, your own personal corner of the web. It acts as your calling card and shop window.  You can create a very effective website for a very modest outlay, and even for free if you are web savvy and know what you’re doing.

Virtual office solutions

The biggest name in virtual offices is Regus.  There are many others and at the time of writing this post I have been using the same company in Glasgow for over 5 years now as Regus are that little bit more expensive.

Most virtual office solutions allow you to rent physical office space from them on a per day or even an hourly basis. This can give your company a very professional office address that can be used on your business cards and website. You can also have mail delivered to the address.  Many also offer telephone answering services, payroll facilities and other products.  There is even FREE mentoring with some packages!

Business Telephone Lines

For a dedicated business telephone number consider Soho66 or  Skype.  The service offers local telephone numbers that can be hired on a rolling contract with no compulsory tie-in period.  With Skype you can answer online when you are at your computer or divert it to your landline or mobile telephone.

Soho66 maybe the best telephone number option for your transcription company and it is by far the cheapest.  It costs only £2 per month to rent your own number.  They have a great admin system that allows you to set up how incoming calls are handled, for example, diverting them to personalised voicemail messages.  Other services include alternative telephone numbers and answering machines.

Taking payment the easy way

You have set up your transcribing services company and are attracting clients through your website.  They have looked at your products and services and are now in a buying frame of mind.  The last thing you want is a slow and clapped out payment system.  It simply has to run smoothly otherwise you risk losing clients as they click away from your site to a competitor.

Internet users don’t have a lot of patience, and so your payment options must be very, very quick.  Of course there is the old fashioned cheque that can be sent to you in the post, and sometimes a customer may prefer to pay cash in hand (it still happens to me).  However, the best options are to offer BACS or good old PayPal.

PayPal is a popular and safe online banking system.  You may already have used it to purchase goods over the Internet.  It is a very quick and convenient way to conduct transactions and even send money online.

The only downside is there is a transaction fee – normally just above 3%, unless you get a merchant account.   However, you can ask the client to pay the fee.  Some will not mind, viewing it as a small price to pay for ease of use and safety.

Business in a Box

One of the most time consuming elements of building a business is creating the paperwork.  It takes ages to word the documents and make them look professional, even if you know how to write them.  Legal documents need to be created, as well as terms and conditions, good sales literature, contracts for human resources and much, much more.

I’ve always liked the idea of Business in a Box, although I’ve never bought it.  In five minutes you can have over 1,700 documents at your fingertips and ready to send to a client.  You don’t have to write a single word.  Here are some of the areas that are covered:

  • Planning & Management
  • Legal
  • Human Resources
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Hire a Consultant/Contractor
  • Credit & Collection

Professional indemnity insurance

Simply put, professional indemnity insurance covers the work a transcription services business carries out. If you provide advice or offer a service that customers pay for, they could sue you or claim compensation if they feel the work is not up to standard.

Public liability insurance

When you work from home, you may well receive a few business visitors every now and then or handle physical tapes.  This doesn’t just include clients, but also engineers to fix your computer and even salespeople selling you business insurance!  If there is the slightest risk that someone could be hurt or their property could be damaged in your home you should consider taking out public liability insurance.

We don’t offer any recommendations as this isn’t one of our areas of expertise. However, I am bringing the subject up because I do recommend you carry out some research and seek professional advice.

This should get your started with your self employed typing business or setting yourself up as a work from home transcription services company quickly and easily.

Make sure to read our other articles on this subject.

Previous article = The benefits of a work from transcription business

Transcription Services for Research Work

Universities throughout the UK conduct academic research on a continual basis. The research is important for students, transcription services for academic researchprofessors and researchers in the global academic community. It is normally very long and complicated work involving qualitative and quantitative research.

Qualitative or quantitative — which method is for you?

Traditionally, research for academic or marketing purposes falls into two main methodological  groups: qualitative and quantitative.

Quantitative research 

It’s typical to star quantitative research to get an overall impression of your target group. As the word “quantitative” sounds, this type of research is carried out across a large group of people to get a large quantity of responses. It is used to get the major consensus of how a group of people are thinking or behaving. The statistical analysis of the results will then paint a picture of the landscape surrounding the questions.

As an example, if you were looking for feedback pertaining to a change in the law or a change of price for one of your products or services you could use quantitative research to determine whether the sentiment is good or bad for the case you are putting forward. Once you have an indication you may then decide to use qualitative research to drill down a bit further into your test group to understand more about their answers.

Qualitative research

This is an in-depth exploration of what people think, feel or do and, crucially, why. If you want to know why your customers behave as they do and what barriers there may be to their changing that behaviour you would use qualitative research to explore those issues. However, qualitative research does not give statistically robust findings. It is much more in-depth that quantitative and gets into more detail about how the person thinks, feels or what they do and more importantly why.

It also allows you to question people from different angles to ascertain whether your initial findings are correct and if under the microscope your proposal or theory holds water.

As an example, you may discover the pricing of your products and services isn’t appreciated by your customers, but you don’t know why. It may not be as simple as they don’t like the price so change it, but until you can ask those penetrating questions you won’t know what the true underlying issue is and more often than not it won’t be just a case of you change the price everything is OK, because that may not be at the heart of the matter.

How does qualitative research work?

Qualitative research typically involves focus groups and 1 to 1 interviews. There are a lot of rules involved to conducting research like this to be sure you don’t affect the answers candidates give by using leading questions. It’s also important to set the interview up correctly, keep the candidate at ease and extract data without tainting it with personal viewpoints. However, that is another article and we are not covering that here.

Focus groups, otherwise known as group discussions, are normally set in an informal environment involving 3-10 participants. The structure of the questions are very open to allow people to open up naturally and divulge information. The moderator guides the conversation to keep it on topic, but otherwise the goal is to allow the participants to express their true underlying views and opinions, learn what their behavioural triggers are and what motivates them. At this point you can test almost anything to evaluate and learn from their feedback and reactions.  With focus groups especially, there can be a benefit in learning how participants interact with each other as well.

1 to 1 interviews are much more in-depth again and due to the private and intimate nature of interviews the participant will often open up a lot more than if they were part of a group. They are very useful if the people involved are competitors or enemies who would not normally want to discuss openly in front of each other.

Quotes taken from this research are then used to support the reports and proposals.

How does quantitative research work?

Quantitative research uses more closed questions and rather than it being face to face or over the telephone, quantitative research usually is conducted over the internet or via questionnaires, ie the respondents choose their answers from a list of possible responses.

There are many different types of questions, but here are a few examples from SurveyMonkey-

Multiple Choice Questions

This question type allows the survey taker to select one or more options from a list of answers that you define. You should use multiple choice questions when you have a fixed number of options.

Rating Scales

With rating scale questions, the survey taker selects a single rating for your question along an equally spaced continuum of possible choices. Customer satisfaction survey question often use a Likert scale to measure customer opinion or attitudes.

Comment/Essay Box Question

Open-ended survey questions require respondents to type their answer into a comment box, and do not provide specific pre-set answer options. Responses are then viewed individually or by sophisticated text analysis tools, such as SurveyMonkey’s Open Ended Question Analysis tool.

Demographic Questions

To gather information about a respondent’s background or income level, for example, demographic survey questions would serve you well.

It’s all about the numbers with this type of research. You really need to be receiving more than 30-40 responses to get any meaningful or accurate data to analyse. The data is usually presented in tables and graphs to support the research and proposed arguments.

Do you need transcription services to transcribe the audio?

Qualitative and quantitative research can take weeks or even months to collate and then it has to be presented in a medium that allows for the data to be extracted and analysed.

The best way to get at the data is to have it transcribed by a professional transcription services company. With the audio recordings in text format it is easier to find the data that you need quickly and easily to work with it and use it as required.

Why online transcription services like ours? It saves a lot of time and the accuracy of your transcripts is guaranteed.  This is even more important if you have difficult to understand accents that your researchers may not understand or if your researchers aren’t familiar with colloquialisms or references to local place names, culture, etc.

The average length of time to transcribe an hour long recording is anything from 3-5 hours. If you have ten hours of recordings, that means 30-50 hours straight of typing. An entire week! And that’s only if you are a fast, professional typist, otherwise it could be two or three times as long as that and at the end of it you will still have to proof read it all to make sure there are no mistakes.

Any academics’ time is more important than to be sitting transcribing hours and hours of audio interviews and focus groups. Your time should be spent in working with the data, more research and other important and urgent work. Leave the transcribing to us and relax with your work while we type up your research and send it to you in electronic document format.

We can work with almost all audio files and convert them into most of the popular digital formats. Here is a list of the work we can get involved with and the list of a few of the formats we can work with. If you don’t see what you need here, please contact us for more information-

Transcription services provided

  • Thesis/Dissertation
  • Technical material
  • Seminars and conferences
  • Research interviews
  • Research
  • Orations
  • Oral history
  • Committee meetings
  • Classroom lectures (for various subjects)
  • One-to-one interviews
  • Academic Interviews

Our transcription services are her to help you whether your research is argumentative or analytical in nature. We can help your students and researchers to analyze their research data effectively, efficiently and with confidence. Please contact us for more information.