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Explaining the Different Types of Transcription Services

By 27th January 2020August 18th, 2021No Comments
Transcription Services

A Guide to Transcription Styles

The professional transcription services industry emerged in the mid 80s, when busy market research executives, having conducted focus groups and depth interviews all over the UK, came back to their offices and did not have time to sit and listen through all the recordings.   

A junior market research exec was assigned to make written transcripts from the recordings, taking up valuable time and resource, as they ploughed through hours of tapes.  

A quicker, more efficient solution emerged, where tapes could be sent to a typist who would simply produce a set of transcripts much more quickly, in a form that was vastly clearer than being at the mercy of somebody’s scrawling handwriting.  

And from that one simple solution, professional audio transcription services were born.  Professional transcribers emerged who, rather than bashing mindlessly on the keyboard, learned to LISTEN to a discussion and not just HEAR it.  Extensive experience has been built to turn the most complex of recordings into a clearly presented, accurate transcript 

Now, transcription services companies offer a range of services to suit the diversity of their clients’ needs and here we explain the different types that are used, by whom and when.  


Intelligent Verbatim Transcriptions


What are intelligent verbatim transcriptions?

A market researcher recently termed intelligent verbatim transcription as “sensible business transcription”.   

This is the most popular style of transcription service that turns speech into text, editing out the fillers and repetitions that may distract from getting at the actual content of the interview.  

Who uses intelligent verbatim transcriptions?

Those that are interested in reading what the respondent has to say, rather than how they said it.  Intelligent verbatim transcription produces an easy to read, reflection of the discussion, taking out the everyday utterances we use in our speech, “um, er”, stumbling over words and pauses, which can make for a turgid read if not required.  

Example of intelligent verbatim:

“I did a degree in criminal justice and psychology and then after that, got a job working for a drug and alcohol charity and I was based in a Probation Service.  I was a case worker for people who are on probation and needed support with their drug and alcohol use.”



Strict Verbatim Transcriptions


What is strict verbatim?

Strict verbatim transcription is a style of transcription that captures everything a speaker has said and how they said it. Verbatim transcripts include: Stutters, filler speech, including “um,” “uh,” etc. , repetitions and non-speech sounds including laughter and pauses and interruptions.   

Who uses strict verbatim?

Academics, psychologists and medics are often interested in the nature of the interaction that has taken place, as well as what was actually said.  They may want to conduct their own discourse analysis.  

Example of strict verbatim:

“I-I did a degree in criminal justice and psychology and then erm, after that, after that I g-got a job working for a, a drug and alcohol charity and I-I was based in a Probation Service.  [Pause] I was a, a case worker – for um, people who are on probation and need- needed support with their er, drug and alcohol use.”



Summary Transcriptions


What are summary transcriptions?

Summary transcription reflects the colour and tone of a discussion but produces a more condense read, by using the interviewer’s questions from the discussion guide and transcribing within the section headings.

Dialogue is still transcribed and some verbatim quotes included, but repetition and non-relevant discussion is omitted and some sentences edited.   

Who uses summary transcriptions?

Researchers don’t always need a full transcription and instead a “quick and dirty” summary reflection will suffice.   Summary transcription picks out the salient points relevant to the client’s brief, they are produced more quickly and are about 20-25% cheaper than intelligent verbatim.

“I did a degree in criminal justice and psychology and got a job working for a drug and alcohol charity based in a Probation Service.  I was a case worker for people on probation, who needed support with their drug and alcohol use.”



Transcribe It is the UK’s longest established transcription services provider.  Don’t hesitate to get in touch with your transcription requirements …

Please give us a call on 01992 445411 and we’ll discuss how we can help you with your UK transcription needs.

Alternatively, you can email us your audio transcription enquiry at and we’ll be in touch with a quote!