When it comes to getting an audio transcription that suits your exact needs, the number of options on offer can be overwhelming — especially if you don’t know the jargon!
There’s full-verbatim, intelligent verbatim, detailed notes, draft notes… the list goes on. And those aren’t their only names! So how do you differentiate between them?
In this quick guide, we’ll cover one of the most popular options that people opt for when using audio transcription services and whether it’s the best option for your transcript: intelligent verbatim. This is also known as verbatim, clean verbatim and word-for-word transcripts, so ensure you’re picking the right one when you get a transcript! But first, let’s jump into what exactly an intelligent verbatim transcript is.
What is intelligent verbatim?
When people talk, especially in unscripted scenarios, they tend to have many inadvertent verbal tics and use filler words. Often we screen these out in general conversation. But when transcribed, they can stick out like a sore thumb and detract from the flow of the transcript. These include things like pauses, false starts, “umms”, “aahs” and direct repetitions.
Of course, there are some uses for this, for example during legal proceedings. They can lend a greater sense of context to the words and provide insights into the speaker’s mindset and demeanour. However, most prefer them to be filtered out.
That’s where intelligent verbatim comes in.
Intelligent verbatim edits out all these little vocal tics yet retains the overall word count. This makes it easier to parse and mine the transcript for information. What’s more, with the interruptions filtered out, the transcript flows more naturally and is clearer to read and process.
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What is intelligent verbatim used for?
It’s easy to see why intelligent verbatim is such a popular choice — it lends itself well to a range of professional and academic applications. These include:
If you’re trying to gain as much information from someone as possible, for example interviewing a patient for medical reasons or interviewing an expert for academic research, you want an interview that can go off-topic and cover as much as possible. That means when you get a transcript, you want it to contain everything covered, but in a way that’s easy to read. Intelligent verbatim transcripts can help provide this.
Meetings are extremely information-dense events with a great deal communicated in a relatively short space of time. It’s understandable that while each attendee may make their own notes, all may want a transcript of the meeting to see if there might be anything they’ve missed. Intelligent verbatim can provide clear yet detailed minutes of the meeting that offers a full account of what they said to supplement attendees’ notes.
A lot of time-poor entrepreneurs want to maintain a steady output of content for SEO purposes but don’t have time to type it all out. With intelligent verbatim, they can dictate in their office or in the car and get their audio transcribed into readable, accurate and SEO-friendly copy.
Whether you’re looking for an easy to parse account of an important lecture or a static account of an interview with a primary source for your thesis, intelligent verbatim can be invaluable in all kinds of academic contexts.
Still unsure about verbatim?
If you’re still unsure (or even a little confused) about verbatim transcripts, we certainly don’t blame you. It can be hard to keep track of all the varying definitions, especially when they’re used so inconsistently by transcription services.
The lack of clarity and transparency can make it hard to know exactly what kind of transcript is best suited to your exact needs. This is why it’s so vital to find an audio transcription service that you can trust. A service that takes the time to listen to your needs and assign the best transcription type for you.
For example, for clients in the legal profession needing a full transcript, a quality transcription service may well advise you against intelligent verbatim and instead get you to get a full-verbatim transcript. This will provide greater context beyond the words spoken. However, this is often hard to read and is only needed for certain situations.
For most meetings and interviews, a transcription service may suggest a detailed notes transcript. A detailed notes transcript trims away even more fat than an intelligent verbatim transcript. This removes any off-topic information and includes only the important and relevant points that you need. This is the cheapest transcript option and depending on your needs, may suit you better.
Know your options
There are a few options available to you if you do choose an intelligent verbatim service. Price points will vary depending on whether you’d prefer a human service or an automated service that used Automated Speech Recognition (ASR).
ASR solutions often have free trials or free ‘basic’ options. However, be wary if you value clarity. Few can top 85% accuracy and many will stumble over complex legal or medical jargon. A human-based service, on the other hand, will usually come at a cost of around £2 per minute of recorded audio with optional added extras like timestamps or speaker identification. Some services may even provide more affordable options if you’re willing to wait longer for your transcript, or you can pay extra for even faster turnaround times.
Research what you need before you buy
As with any purchase, it’s essential that you do your homework before committing to a service. Any transcription service worth their salt will help support you in choosing the right kind of transcription for you. Ask transcription services for examples of what verbatim looks like (to them) and how suited it may be to your intended purposes.
However, remember that the most cost-effective option is a detailed notes transcript. This kind of transcript allows the meaning of your recording to remain unchanged but removes any irrelevant information, ensuring you get a focused transcript containing only the insights you need.
No matter the kind of transcript you need — whether that’s full-verbatim, intelligent verbatim or detailed notes — a high-quality audio transcription service can help by ensuring that you’re getting the best quality transcript you can.