February 22, 2018

Recording Tip 2

Assist in clarification - if materials such as letters/ photographs etc. are being shown to participants, remember that they may need to be identified on the transcript. So it would be a good idea to say what the ‘IT’ is that’s being shown. You may remember what ‘IT’ is at the time but will you later on when it comes to analysing the transcript and how does the transcriber know or the reader of the transcript? And if participants just nod or shake their heads, please either ask them to say yes or no, or confirm verbally what they’ve done.

Recording Tip 1

Ensure that the participants can be heard. A participant who has a quiet voice or mumbles won’t be picked up by the recording equipment, however sophisticated it may be. If you can’t hear what’s being said, the chances are we can’t either on the finished recording. Although it may be difficult to interrupt or risk putting someone off, you have to be firm or you’ll lose valuable material. Invariably, people don’t realise they’re speaking softly – we rarely ‘hear’ our own voices. But most are happy to speak up if asked to do so but this has to be when appropriate. Either ask them to speak up and repeat, or where appropriate repeat/summarise anything that may not have been said clearly on their behalf (including mention of their name) and ask for acknowledgment that this was a correct interpretation etc.

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