Choosing the Right Level of Proofing for your Transcript

Most transcription companies offer differing levels of proofing services. At Rogers Word Service, we currently offer two editing levels: what we call “edited,” and “draft.” If you’re a RWS customer, you’re probably familiar with these terms. If you’re not, let me give a short explanation as to what these two options mean for the turnaround, cost, and accuracy of your transcript.

First, let’s talk about the process of transcription. The client uploads the audio or video file to be transcribed to the transcription service, who processes it to get it ready to give to their transcribers. The transcribers receive the file, along with the specifications as to the level of verbatim, special formatting, and time coding, and then begin work.

At Rogers Word Service, we encourage our transcriptionists to take their time and do research into the technical terms, proper names, acronyms, et cetera that are relevant to the transcript subject. This is why we pay our transcribers by the labor hour rather than the audio hour, which is an extremely rare model in the transcription world. We want our transcribers to feel like they can take the time necessary to get it right, rather than rushing through the job in order to get the highest pay per hour. This means we have to develop close personal relationships with our transcribers so that we know what to expect when we send them work to transcribe. That is why even our draft transcripts are exceptionally high quality transcripts.

Once the transcriber has completed the transcript, our editorial team goes over it in its entirety. For draft transcripts, that means reading through the entire transcript and correcting any obvious mistakes, as well as spot-checking places that are flagged by the transcriptionist. For edited transcripts, we proof the transcript against the audio in its entirety, and our editors do all the research to confirm the correct jargon, proper names, acronyms, et cetera. Basically, our edited transcripts should be as close to perfect as possible. We consider them to be ready to publish.

Now, because there is less labor on our end for draft transcripts, the turnaround time can be quicker and the cost is lower. So if you need transcripts as quick as possible and you don’t mind the possibility of a few small errors (still likely within 99% accuracy, depending on the quality of the audio), draft transcripts are the way to go. If you have highly technical subject matter, you are preparing the transcript to be public-facing, or there is a lot of difficult-to-hear audio, edited transcripts are probably your best option.

Let me know if you have any further questions about proofing levels for Rogers Word Service transcriptions!

-Paul Rogers

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