Quite often universities and academic institutions do not have banks of secretaries to do work. Usually these institutions expect their academics to do their own typing and administrative work and the support staff usually have very defined roles that do not include typing or transcription.
So if you have a recording of some research for example, or a piece of work you require typing up how do you get this done quickly?
Outsourced Academic Transcription
Outsourced Transcription is a new phenomenon that has been around for some time but only recently utilised to a higher degree. www.tptranscription.co.uk is a good example of one of these companies. You visit their website, get a quote and send the transcription company your recordings, whether by post (if on tape) or by e-mail or an FTP sending programme such as www.yousendit.com.
All of these ways are free of charge (apart from the postage costs) and the transcription company will type up your work and send it back to you by e-mail as quickly as possible.
There are companies out there who promise a 45 minutes return on all transcriptions but most academic work does not require this level of speed. www.universitytranscriptions.co.uk offer a fast service which usually is complete within 72 hours or a standard service which is either set at 14 days or open, depending on the size of the project. The longer the return time the cheaper the work and in fact often the more accurate this is as the transcriber has longer to complete the work and does not feel rushed.
All typing work done by transcription companies is in confidence and you can ask that a confidentiality undertaking is given by both the company and the transcribers that work for it on an individual basis so that you can rest assured of the confidence of the people typing up the material. This is particularly relevant for health research projects, social studies and any celebrity or high profile interviews.
In summary if you need work transcribing it is better to outsource to an external typing provider such as www.universitytranscriptions.co.uk than use an in-house one.
Finally we do not recommend using any company that outsources the work to India or South Africa as the number of spelling mistakes contained within these documents as well as geographical term errors etc can outweigh the benefits of doing the transcription in the first place. If you have a look at some of the examples given on company websites where work is outsourced to India you will see what we mean…