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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Home / 2013 / August

Investigative Transcriptions – What’s That.

When someone says the word ‘crime’ or ‘investigation’, it’s likely that images of CSI or 24 come to mind. But just as EQ Transcription Services Ltd helps to ease the workload of corporations all across the country, law enforcement agencies too can greatly benefit from working with our transcriptionists.
Investigative recordings usually involve the use of multiple recorders and speakers who may not always speak slowly or in an audible tone. In fact many of these recordings are often made at the scene of the crime itself, in an interview room, in a sting operation or even in a long-term undercover operation which may involve two or three people speaking together at the same time. Taking down notes by hand at the scene of the crime or during an interrogation is often beneficial for refreshing one’s memory or for making short reports, they may not be sufficient during a full-fledged in-depth investigation. Besides, if confidential information has been jotted down on a pad, there is also a real danger of such information being misplaced or of it ending up in the wrong hands.
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In fact, we’d even happily sign a non-disclosure agreement too. Secondly, with our ready to use transcripts in a digital format, it becomes easier to sift through all the information you have at hand and to pin-point any vital clues. You may be just one more step closer to actually closing the case itself. Thirdly, our transcripts can be provided as evidence if need be, in a court of law. Some forces expect their own staff to transcribe such audio recordings. This however, may put additional stress on the transcriber, especially if that person is not experienced in handling such sensitive data or inaudible audio files.

 

EQ Transcription Services Ltd can step in to help you make sense of all the facts, statements and clues. In order to safe-guard such information, it’s not unusual for many agencies and law enforcers to require documents and audio files to be encrypted or password protected. We go to great lengths to ensure that your information is always kept confidential, so that it never falls into the wrong hands.

 

Plus, our transcriptionists are well-equipped and well-versed in dealing with audio files of any nature. That’s why you won’t ever have to worry about the quality of our transcription work. If you would like to view our portfolio in person, simply get in touch with EQ today and we’ll call you back for an appointment. At EQ Transcription Services Ltd, perfect transcripts are an everyday reality!

On The Job, Tips For Transcriptionists – Part 1

A transcriptionist’s job doesn’t always start off as an easy one and like all other professions in the world; it takes loads of practice, dedication and hard work to actually become an ace transcriptionist. But what most self-help forums don’t tell you is that in order to become a highly skilled transcriptionist, you also need to work smart. As a reputable transcription agency, we’ve gathered a wealth of information along the way and it’s this experience that has helped our transcriptionists deliver the highest standards each time.1208422_89744071

 

So, irrespective of whether you are just starting out, have a few projects under your belt or a veteran-
we hope that these tips will help make a difference in the way you work:

 

  1. Everybody has to start somewhere and during your years as a beginner, having multiple projects of a shorter duration on your resume is much more impressive than having just a handful of projects of a longer duration. Put simply it is better to have experience of different speakers on a variety of subjects. Whether you would prefer to be experienced in general transcription in different areas or specialise in one or two niche areas e.g. legal and medical, is a decision you need to make. What’s more important is that you have adequate knowledge about the subject matter you transcribe and also carry out relevant searches online to find the correct information.
  1.  Ask any agency about the top two skills needed to become a great transcriptionist and ‘speed’ will without doubt be one and the other is accuracy. Yes, clients may want a transcript to be delivered in the space of an hour or two but which do you feel is better- delivering a highly flawed transcript and meeting the deadline or asking for an extension on the time and submitting a quality transcript? So, yes, if an impressive resume, good feedback and more work is what you want, then aim for accuracy and not speed. If you feel that a deadline is simply impossible to meet for example if the audio quality is poor or there are many participants, don’t hesitate to ask for an extension from the client as long as it’s fair and justified.
  1. Staying updated and keeping abreast of the latest developments in the field of transcription and of course, in your niche areas is very important.You’ll find plenty of great online forums which provide a good meeting ground for transcriptionists from all over the world and of course, for an exchangeof new ideas as well. Invest in the right books which you can refer to anytime you need to look up an abbreviation, understand a certain term used or simply to refer to.
  1. Many transcriptionists hesitate to invest in a pair of good quality head-phones and even in reliable transcription software. Yes, getting a good cheap deal online may make you smile now, but it most likely will not help you work efficiently.The quickest way to make a good decision you won’t regret in both cases is to talk to other transcriptionists and to do your bit of product review research as well. It’s likely that you will find conflicting reviews on the internet and that’s why you need to take time to do your reading thoroughly. But, in the end you’ll find that your efforts will pay off and let’s face it – you won’t be spending money unnecessarily either!

More tips coming your way next week!

On The Job, Tips For Transcriptionists – Part 2

(continuation of last week’s article)

  1. When you sit at your desk in the morning, it may seem like you have ample time to complete your transcripts, but by the time it’s afternoon, you may find that there’s still plenty of work left to be completed and not much time to do it either. One of the best ways to solve such a problem is to jot down your schedule for the day, week and month in a planner or work diary so that you take control of your time management. Besides, it also helps you meet any set deadline and also smooths out the entire work process as well.

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  1. We agree that it does get difficult to remember what each abbreviation stands for, the details required for various transcription formats or even any specifications laid down by regular clients. How about using a notebook to jot down important information that you keep using time and again, for abbreviations, links, references and the like? When you are transcribing and  listening to an audio file, your quick notes will be the reference tool you need.
  2. Let’s be honest  –  listening to an audio file and typing out each word that you hear can be difficult. As a transcriber, you don’t have to get all the matter absolutely correct first time typing, by proofing it and running the audio a second time against the document can ensure corrections are made.  By using Auto Correct  a typist can use abbreviations and short forms of long words and phrases which  automatically replace. For instance, words like ‘collaborate ’ can be shortened to ‘clb’lse, ‘step-by-step ’ to ‘sbs’ and other difficult to type words which are tricky or use a lot of key. You don’t really need to adhere to a prepared format for such short forms- simply use what works best for you as long as a common word is not made from it i.e. ‘ate’ cannot be used for ‘at the end of the day’ as the word ate exists and would be replaced! In fact, the ‘Find and Replace’ option in Microsoft Word, also helps you edit whole documents in seconds. For example, if you hear a specific phrase which has been used countless times previously in the audio, but which is heard clearly to be different well into the audio, and you find the exact word online to confirm in context to make sure. Then you can put into Find the incorrect word and Replace with the correct word and it will show you how many replacements have been made! On a second run through you can check to ensure all the spelling and grammar and any Find and Replace have been done correctly.
  1. Don’t stress about those one or two words that appear barely audible and which don’t make any sense at all. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to figure out what the person is referring to, when you are half-way through your transcript. Constantly hitting pause, rewind and play to get a few words right can confuse you further. You’ll be in a better frame of mind to nail the missing words when it’s time to make further edits.
  1. Take breaks. We can’t emphasise this enough because you do need a breather at least every two hours or so just to de-clutter your mind and to refresh your senses. Besides, staring at a computer screen for long does cause eye-strain too and has been linked to decreased productivity at work.
  1. Learn to strike a balance between your work life and personal life. This helps to ensure that your job stays challenging each day, your job interest remains undiminished and it also helps you give your best to your clients as well.

We hope our tips help you perform at your optimum in your workplace!

Relaxation Tips For Transcriptionists.

At EQ Transcription Services Ltd, we take great pride in saying that our blog isn’t just for our regular clients, prospective clients or merely for the casual reader; it’s also about great practical articles for the people who sit at a desk and make each good transcript a reality. We know that transcribing for hours on end can be really tedious. After all, you have the dual task of listening and typing at the same time. That is a skill which takes time to master and yet the satisfaction of having created a flawless transcript which is readily accepted by a client is also a great professional achievement.

 

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So, whenever you feel that you just can’t transcribe another word anymore or that your eyes are red from staring for hours at the screen, turn to our small list of relaxation tips to help you unwind:

  1. Begin each day with a proper schedule at hand. List down exactly what work needs to be completed as well as the time frame required for each task. Make a note of any pending work or any transcripts with due deadlines.
  1. Decide at what time of the day you are at your most productive. This depends on whether you are a morning person or if you would rather get other things out of the way before getting down to work.
  1. Ensure that your work space is properly illuminated. This greatly reduces the strain on your eyes and makes typing easier.You would have to strain twice as hard to hit the right keys in a room with poor lighting.
  1. You could also buy an anti-glare screen protector for your laptop/monitor as well as an extra screen lamp with a USB port.
  1. Considering that your job is a sedentary one, make sure that you have the right chair which gives ample support to your spine.The perfect chair supports your weight perfectly and gives a supportive cushioning effect. You will greatly reduce your chance of getting back ache as well.
  1. Take frequent breaks. The kind of work you do is very crucial in terms of content and getting the matter right. If you are mentallytired, you are more likely to misunderstand terminology or even type the wrong word while transcribing. This indirectly extends the time you would need to spend on rectifying those errors as well, which can be both tedious and irritating. A short break each hour acts as an instant mental refresher, perhaps listening to some music.

 

And of course, keep your mobile phone either in silent mode or switched off. Nothing can be more distracting than having to attend to a call while you’re otherwise focused on completing the assignment.