Apart from principles of trranscription relating to specific packages it is
also usefull to have some universal proceedures. Erhard Merganthaler and
Charles H. Stinson devoted an article to rules of transcription which many
psychotherapy research workers adhere to. A The article can be found in
Psychotherapy Research Vol2 Number 2 Summer 1992 Pgs 125-142.
At 13:30 19/05/98 +0100, you wrote:
>as its all gone a bit quiet - here are some...
>GENERAL DO'S AND DONT'S for transcription processes when 'thinking' about
>using a piece of CAQDAS software : things to be aware of - if YOU are
>transcribing textual data, (or if you are lucky enough to have one)- things
>to tell your transcriber.
>NOTE: none of this need apply to data being prepared for Code-a-Text -
>which can use rich text, or word processed files.
>Some of this may seem obvious to many of you - but I see all sorts of data
>prepared in very variable ways - and data are often inconsistently
>transcribed within one file. Much of the final preparation which may have
>more to do with analysis stage decisions - will have to be left to the
>researcher - but he/she will be saved a lot of tidying up work if some
>simple basic minima rules are applied at an early transcription stage. I
>have tried not to be too 'software-specific'.
>So these are not all the steps required for the preparation of data for
>individual software pakcages
>Do - always make spelling, spacing etc., of repeating speaker identifiers,
>question headers, section headers, topic headers, absolutely uniform
>throughout text, e.g. QU1: OR Q1:, not a mixture of both. You may need to
>depend on this uniformity when performing text searches and saving the
>results. It is easier to use Text search tools which look for exact strings
>of characters, not approximations.
>Do create clear line space between paragraphs. Not always a requirement but
>will help with e.g. Atlas/ti
>but ...Do NOT have a line space between speaker identifiers, topic headers
>etc and the text associated with them. (This will be more relevant in some
>CAQDAs software than others).
>Do not - depend on Word processing display characteristics to indicate
>things (emphasis etc) about your text e.g. bold, italic, underline, ..e.g.
>do not use embolding or italics alone to identify the respondents speech
>or if there is a chance you are going to be using for NUD*IST, don't use
>bullet points (unless you want them to act as Section headers).
>DO - use a clear speaker identifier instead, preferably in UPPER CASE. This
>will allow case sensitive searches for the speaker identifiers. e.g. IV:
> or CAROL:
>Do - be clear about the amount of 'preparation stage' thought necessary
>for your data; this may vary enormously depending on the CAQDAS software
>being used. Try to find out how this varies, by asking or experimenting or
>reading the manuals!.
>Do - with the above in mind, if possible before transcribing too much data,
>prepare a small pilot project with one or two files, inside the CAQDAS
>software. Do some coding and retrieval, and text searches, to test that the
>formatting of the data seems to work or if you see where improvements can be
>made - they can be applied at an early stage of transcription.
>DO - be aware LATER ON that some tools in particular software packages are
>only useable if data is formatted in a certain way. Theres no easy way to
>discovering this - except by asking, doing, experimenting or reading the
>OK any other suggestions received will (if sensible!) join this list and be
>put on the CAQDAS Networking Project Web page. See URL in signature.
>hope this is helpful.
>Listowner and Resource Officer CAQDAS Networking Project.
>Please note my email address is now
><[log in to unmask]>
>Ann Lewins, CAQDAS Networking Project, Dept of Sociology
>University of Surrey, GUILDFORD GU2 5XH, U.K
>tel +44(0)1483 259455 fax +44(0)1483 259551
>CAQDAS WWW page: http://www.soc.surrey.ac.uk/caqdas/
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Alan Cartwright PhD
Director Centre for the Study of Psychotherapy
University of Canterbury, Kent. UK.