What are the Best Transcription Tools for Researchers?

by | Published on Sep 16, 2022 | Audio Transcription

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Transcription Tools for Researchers
Academic research is demanding and the right support can go a long way in helping researchers carry out their work. Although all research projects are different, there are some common problems that most researchers will face. One major challenge, especially in qualitative research, is manually transcribing lectures, and group and individual interviews. Academic transcription services are a highly reliable option to get written transcripts for analytical purposes. Researchers also need appropriate tools to help with written language, translation, data analysis, citation, survey, and project management. Today, there are a number of digital tools that researchers can choose from for transcription and other purposes.

Top Transcription Software for Researchers

Transcription involves converting spoken words into is written content. Researchers usually need verbatim or word-for-word transcripts of interviews. However, the process of transcription may differ depending on the purpose and the extent of detail required. Here are 5 top transcription tools for academic researchers:

  • Amberscript: This intuitive AI-based tool makes transcribing interviews easy. It is highly accurate and comes with fast turnaround. Other benefits include:
    • Automatically creates text and subtitles from audio or video
    • Transcription in multiple languages
    • upload, search, and edit files easily
    • Export transcripts in Text, SRT, VTT, and many other formats, with optional timestamps and speaker distinction
    • Free trial
    • Competitive pricing

Amberscript supports compliance with digital accessibility regulations and allows you to integrate transcriptions and subtitles to university or institutional workflow.

  • Descript: Though it is designed for podcasters, Descript is a great option to record interview and videos for academic purposes. It combines video editing with audio transcription and captioning. Other key features:
    • Transcription in 22 languages
    • Automatic voice cloning capability
    • Flexible document and subtitle export options
    • Eases removing filler words
    • Customized formatting
    • Timestamps
    • Transcription Glossary handles uncommon or difficult words
    • Cloud sync for instant access anywhere

This AI-based tool features top notch technologies that keeps your documents safe and secure. However, one main drawback is that Descript tends to mistranscribe specialist vocabulary and some other words. Also, it works best for an American accent. Accuracy also depends on quality of the recording. If you use Descript, you may need audio transcription services for document review.

  • Otter.ai: Like other AI-assisted transcription tools, Otter.ai is fast and easy to use and can provide highly accurate transcription of lectures, research interviews, conversations of group study sessions, etc. Key benefits:
    • Works with Teams, Google Meet, and WebEx using its microphone and speakers to provide live transcripts during online events.
    • Allows recording and transcribing conversations on mobile devices smartphone or via your computer’s web browser.
    • Features controls to limit access to viewing, editing, and comments on conversations
    • Identifies speakers
    • Timestamps makes referencing and finding particular keywords and analyzing interviews easier
    • Accepts a variety of file formats: audio (mp3, aac, wav, m4a, wma) and video (mp4, avi, mov, wmv, mpg)
    • Ease finding and sharing files by creating separate folders for classes, projects, and teams
    • Offers 6 hours of free transcription service

One problem is that Otter.ai ensures accuracy only with words and phrases in routine conversations. Accuracy may be compromised when it comes to more difficult words and some accents.

  • Reduct: Reduct markets itself as “a fully online collaborative video editor, a stunningly accurate transcription service, with powerful tools for synthesizing meaning, wrapped in a sharable, searchable video archive, all in a single easy-to-use platform”. The Reduct video transcription program and video editing tool comes with a built-in text editor and offers researchers both AI and human transcription. Top benefits:
    • Fast and highly accurate
    • Immediate transcription of uploaded recordings
    • Identifies and corrects spelling and grammatical problems
    • Fuzzy search algorithm finds relevant phrases
    • Videos and transcripts can be added to the individual video or folder of videos for sharing with others using Reduct
    • Accessible, searchable, and secure

The drawback is that Reduct can take a lot of time to transcribe bulk recordings or videos.

  • Sonix: Specifically designed for researchers and research institutes, this automated tools using advanced algorithms to transcribe and manage audio and video recordings and documents. Features and benefits include:
    • Advanced APIs, multi-user and multi-permissioning
    • Powerful cloud-based editor
    • Highly accurate, automated transcripts in minutes
    • Export files in different formats
    • Picks up even complex words
    • Easily search, edit, and share transcripts
    • Allows tagging themes and deriving insights across multiple transcripts
    • Provides transcripts across hundreds of dialects, languages, and accents
    • Integrates with leading qualitative research platforms

The main challenges involved are its difficult to use search function and pricing. Unlike other transcription tools, Sonix does not offer a free trial.

Role of Outsourcing Services

One of the main concerns with automated transcription is that the documents will need manual review to ensure the desired level of accuracy. An online transcription company that specializes in academic transcription can ensure this. Leading service providers also provide discounts for students and researchers. Outsourcing transcription tasks can save time and ensure multi-level verification of document accuracy.

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