Scribe Collective was started by a pair of closed captioning studio employees trained in the exacting standards required to provide transcription services to the broadcast media industry. We went independent to produce these demanding transcripts, but quickly realized that general transcription for academics was being met by a handful of corporations unfamiliar with their particular needs and expectations, while employing a largely untrained revolving door of contractors. In response, we have grown our company to provide tailored services internationally for every purpose and in any medium.
The transcription process is not an especially complicated one – at first glance. A transcriber uses audio control equipment and a computer to listen to your content and type out a full transcript. Ours are trained not simply to hear, but to listen. A transcript can easily veer off into inaccuracy, homonyms, or grammatical errors if you’re not attentive to the actual content, listening as if you were the other person in an interview, or an audience member during a lecture.This means we also never use speech recognition software, which even today is extremely prone to errors and mistranslations of human speech.
This completed transcript is then read in real-time by an editor as he or she listens to the audio again. Our editors and transcribers work closely together, and frequently. It is not a faceless quality control step, but rather an interaction between coworkers who have encountered each other’s work time and time again, knowing their particular quirks and familiar with their writing style. Most of our editors could probably identify any one of the transcribers by Word document alone. This kind of familiarity is what allows us to consistently and reproducibly create exceptional quality transcripts, no matter how obscure or challenging the content.
It’s worth noting that most transcription companies can only say of their workers that they are native English speakers (hopefully) as qualifications for their work. Scribe Collective is entirely composed of university graduates from a broad range of fields of study. Each of our projects are paired up with the transcribers most interested and grounded in that subject area, so a day in the Scribe offices is a bit like being back in the university classroom.