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Qualitative Data Analysis: Transcription Software

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

Transcription Resources

For qualitative researchers, transcribing is an integral element to the research process. Below are some options for transcribing interviews and subtitling videos by hand.  NYU Stream, Read & Write, Speech to Text, and third party applications are all resources that can be used in conjunction to speed up the transcription process while retaining the accuracy of manual transcription. Please review the possible options depending on your needs, media sources, and audio quality.

General Information

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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.

Transcription Software

NYU UCAIHS/IRB Protocal Regarding Transcription Software

NYU UCAIHS / IRB (as of May 2016)

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 UCAIHS / 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.