What level of transcription do I require?

We offer five levels of transcription, but the overwhelming majority of transcription work is completed to Level 3, “Intelligent Verbatim”. A description of each level is below.

Intelligent verbatim is suitable for all dictation, interviews, focus groups, legal proceedings, meetings, conferences, telephone calls, Zoom meetings and podcasts.

Level 4 “Strict Verbatim” is only really suitable for conversational analysis work (ie you are studying the speech patterns of the speakers) and Level 5 “Discourse Analysis” is a more in depth version of this requiring transcribers with training and experience.

A quick explanation of each level is below.

Level 1 – Fully Edited Transcript – the transcriber will transcribe the main parts of each sentence, and make informed decisions on what to leave in and what to take out in order to retain the structure of the sentence but shorten wherever possible and adjusted if necessary, adding words in to complete sentences etc..

Level 2 – Lightly Edited Transcript – edited by the transcriber for readability and clarity. Here the transcriber will transcribe the exact words but leave out any pauses, hesitations or sounds.

Level 3 – Intelligent Verbatim Transcript – certain elements are omitted if they add no meaning to the script. This is mainly ums, errs and repetitions and false starts. This is the level used for most transcription work – it is recommended for research interviews, group discussions and focus groups.

Level 4 – True (or Strict) Verbatim Transcript – a complete record of every sound or utterance on the recording, which will include coughs, stutters, false starts, any “erms” and “ahhs”. Useful where a researcher is analysing conversation or language.

Level 5 – Discourse Analysis (or Jefferson transcription) – Level 5 “Discourse Analysis” is a more in-depth version of Level 4, requiring transcribers with training and experience. For details and an explanation of symbols used in this type of transcription, please click here.

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