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Qualitative Data Analysis

This guide provides information and guidance for researchers interested in conducting qualitative data analysis.

NYU IRB Protocol Regarding Transcription Software

Suggestions for best practice for 3rd Party Transcription:

  • Researcher that have an individual other than themselves transcribe audio/video media, should let the IRB know who they are and have the transcriber sign a confidentiality agreement  (Transcription Agreement Form for Individual)
  • Researcher that have an on-line transcription software companies transcribe audio/video media, should follow the attached protocol established by PRIM&R (Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research,) the national organization for IRB's. The PRIM&R IRB forum offers suggestions regarding data security with a third party vendor.  (see attached)

Suggestions for best practice for Data Storage:

  • NYU IRB also suggests that once the transcription is complete, the dictation/interviews should be destroyed/wiped clean/deleted after they are reviewed by the researcher.
  • It is not advised to use NYU Stream to store your material. 

NYU Accommodation Software

NYU Digital Accessibility Program- Read&Write

Text to Speech is a downloadable software that reads aloud what’s on the screen, which can be used to proofread transcriptions done manually or through a third-party transcription service. 

 NYU Adaptive Computing - Speech to Text Software Accommodations

  • Kurzweil 1000 - reads books and other print materials aloud
  • CCTV - closed circuit enlargement of print materials
  • JAWS - allows users to listen to the contents of the computer’s screen
  • ZoomText - magnification and screen reading
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking - allows users to dictate, rather than type

The adaptive computing rooms at NYU make it easier for researchers with special accommodations to choose from a variety of mediums to ensure a smooth transcription process.  *If you do not have special accommodations through the NYU Moses Center, please go to the above website and locate the “Inquire about these rooms” button to discuss your research needs with the computer center.  For more information about the library services, please visit the website above or contact Lauren Kehoe of Lib accommodations at or (212) 998 2509.

Suggested Transcription Resources

For qualitative researchers, transcribing is an integral element to the research process. There are a variety of ways that researchers can approach transcription and the preparation of qualitative data for analysis. While many researchers transcribe interviews manually there are also a variety of resources that can be used in conjunction to speed up the transcription process while retaining the accuracy of manual transcription. The following resources will highlight some considerations for you as you begin the process of preparing and cleaning your qualitative data.  

How To Order a Transcript on NYU Stream

  1. To order closed captions/ a transcript  of your recording, simply add new media by uploading your project >> "Add New".  
  2. Once it is uploaded, click on the title of the media and it will take you to an editing page.  
  3. From here.  You will see a drop down menu choice under the title "Actions" in which you may choose the option to "+Order Captions ".  It will take approximately 3 times the length of you media to transcribe (ie 5 min film will take 15 mins) you will note that the status will change from pending to in progress to complete.  
  4. Once your caption request is processed, click the "Actions" button, dropdown and select "Edit."  Select the “Captions” option in the toolbar>Edit Captions. Edit captions as necessary while streaming the video on the righthand side of your screen.
  5. To download captions, return to the toolbar>Captions>select the rightmost icon under Actions.

ATLAS.ti 9 has incorporated new features that allow users to edit transcripts directly in the user interface.

Bibliographic Resources

Branley, D. (2004). 'Making and Managing Audio Recordings' in Clive Seale (ed) Researching Society and Culture (2nd edition), London: Sage, pp 207-223

Lapadat, J., & Lindsay, A. (1999). 'Transcription in Research and Practice : from standardisation of technique to interpretive positionings' Qualitative Inquiry 5(1) 64-86

Lewins, A. (1998). 'Transcribing Evaluation data' in Harvey J. (Ed) Evaluation Cookbook Online , Learning Technology Dissemination Initiative, Herriot Watt Edinburgh.

Stockdale, A. (2003). An Approach to Recording, Transcribing, and Preparing Audio Data for Qualitative Data Analysis Education Development Center, Inc.