Innovation in Transcribing Data: Meet Otter.ai

Abstract

Anyone responsible for transcribing audio-recorded interviews understands how tedious this process can be. Ensuring an accurate reflection of what participants shared during an interview is no easy feat. Transcription involves the careful depiction of data involving repeated listening. During graduate school, I utilized a Panasonic tape recorder along with microcassettes to capture my participants’ stories. Listening to the slow-motion playback took hours, and eventually, the rewind button became worn out. From there, I upgraded to using QuickTime software on my laptop. This method of transcription was faster, especially when utilizing a foot pedal. Technology has come a long way which is why I am excited to introduce you to Otter. Otter.ai is a technology company that has developed a speech-to-text transcription program. The software allows you to record and review transcripts in real-time which saves time and money (Otter.ai., 2021, June 10). This case study highlights the importance of transcribing in qualitative research and how Otter can be utilized for research purposes. A critical review on the overall effectiveness of Otter will be discussed, along with an in-depth look at best practices for using innovative digital transcription methods.

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