Automated Transcripts – Support for Qualitative Researchers during the Pandemic
New Import Option for Automated Transcripts.
Due to the pandemic, qualitative research is currently going through transformation. Traditional face-to-face data collection is replaced by methods and procedures that allow for field work at a distance. More and more researchers conduct interviews through services like MS Teams or Zoom. With all the downsides this pandemic brings, there are also positive effects and opportunities, like the automated transcripts provided by online data collection tools.
Further advantages are that there is no expenditure on travel, it is a faster way of collecting data and interviews can easily be conducted with respondents across the world (c.f. Conducting Qualitative Research During Times of Uncertainty). Some researchers report that it has a positive effect on people with a physical disability. First of all, there is no travelling involved, and secondly online research makes the physical disability less visible. This made the respondents feel more at ease with the interview. Thus, online research can be more inclusive (see also Nehls, Smith & Schneider, 2015).
For further information on conducting digital qualitative research, we provide a list of sources at the end of this article.
Support for Automated Transcripts
To support researchers during this time of transformation, ATLAS.ti offers a new import option for transcripts generated by services like Teams or Zoom (currently available in ATLAS.ti Mac v 9.0.5, and soon also in ATLAS.ti Windows). When importing the transcripts, they will directly be associate with the interview video. All you need to do then is to go through the text, make edits as necessary, and your transcript is done!
Technically speaking, automatic captions, subtitles or transcripts are provided by many services in form of a VTT or SRT files. With ATLAS.ti’s native support for this format, you can now import transcripts from a great many services. Examples are:
- MS Teams
- Simon Says
- Transcribe by Wreally
Generating Automated Transcripts
For most services, you will find instructions on how to generate and export transcripts on their websites. This is the best source of information as we are currently witnessing a rapid development in the area of automated transcription and procedures may change quickly. For your convenience, below we provide some links but invite you to also search yourself for updated information.
- Instructions on how to record a meeting in MS Teams.
- Information on how to generate automatic captions.
- In the following video it is demonstrated how to conduct and transcribe interviews with Microsoft Teams.
How to Import Automated Transcripts into ATLAS.ti
Click here to watch the video tutorial.
Step 1: Add the Recording
- To add the recording, select Document > Add Documents; or select the link option: Document > Reference External Multimedia Document from the main menu.
Step 2: Associate a Transcript
- Open the recording, open the drop-down menu for Transcripts in the toolbar, and select Import Transcript.
- Choose the automated transcript in form of a VVT or SRT file and click Open.
The automated transcript will be imported into the project and opened next to the video recording. In the Project Explorer under the Multimedia Transcripts branch, you will find an entry for the video document and the associated transcript.
Below you see a recording of a Teams meeting and its transcript.
- To see all timestamps, click Edit Timestamps in the toolbar.
Below the video, you see the list of timestamps.
- Click on a timestamp, and the associated text segment will be highlighted.
You can now begin to edit the transcript – correct the text, move, add or delete timestamps. For further information on how to work with transcripts, take a look at the user manual.
Sources for Digital Qualitative Research
Allesandro, C. (2018). Digital Methods for Ethnography: Analytical Concepts for Ethnographers Exploring Social Media Environments. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 47 (5): 551-578.
Archibald, Mandy M. et al. (2019). Using Zoom Videoconferencing for Qualitative Data Collection: Perceptions and Experiences of Researchers and Participants. International Journal of Qualitative Health Research (18): https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406919874596
Costello, L., McDermott, M.L. & Wallace, R. (2017). Netnography: Range of Practices, Misperceptions, and Missed Opportunities. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 16: 1-12.
Graber, R. (2020). Guidance on Conducting and Supervising Community-Oriented Psychology Research During COVID-19. Available at: https://research.brighton.ac.uk/en/publications/guidance-on-conducting-and-supervising-community-oriented-psychol
Hampton, K.N. (2017). Studying the Digital: Directions and Challenges for Digital Methods, Annual Review of Sociology, 43: 167-188.https://www.jboy.space/blog/digital-ethnography.html
Jowett, Adam (2020). Carrying out Qualitative Research under lockdown: Practical and ethical considerations: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2020/04/20/carrying-out-qualitative-research-under-lockdown-practical-and-ethical-considerations/
Lobe, Bojana & Morgan, David & Hoffman, Kim. (2020). Qualitative Data Collection in an Era of Social Distancing. The International Journal of Qualitative Methods (19): https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342736543_Qualitative_Data_Collection_in_an_Era_of_Social_Distancing
Nehls, K., Smith, B.D. & Schneider, H.A. (2015). Video-Conferencing Interviews in Qualitative Research. In Hai-Jew, S. (ed.) Enhancing Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research with Technology. Hershey: Information Science Reference.
Pell, B. et al. (2020). Using Visual Timelines in Telephone Interviews: Reflections and Lessons Learned From the Star Family Study. International Journal of Qualitative Methodology, 19: 1-11.
Ravitch, Sharon M. (2020). The Best Laid Plans… Qualitative Research Design During COVID-19. Social Science Space: https://www.socialsciencespace.com/2020/03/the-best-laid-plans-qualitative-research-design-during-covid-19/
Salmons, Janet (2016).Doing Qualitative Research Online. London: Sage publication. See also the following webinar: When the field is online.
Seitz, S. (2016). Pixilated Partnerships, Overcoming Obstacles in Qualitative Interviews via Skype: a Research Note. Qualitative Research, 16(2): 229-235.
Vindrola-Padros, Cecilia et al. (2020). Carrying Out Rapid Qualitative Research During a Pandemic: Emerging Lessons From COVID-19. Qualitative Health Research, vol. 301,pp: 2192-2204. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1049732320951526