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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Research in Action – Using Contextual Clues

"First it's a real pleasure for me to be able to present to you what we do at L'Oréal in the field of arthropod experimentation."

Say what??? Surely L'Oréal is not testing their latest skincare product on spiders, but that's what it sounded like the speaker was saying through his extremely thick French accent.

Now, a poor transcriptionist would have typed exactly what I typed above without a second thought. Yes, that's right. I've seen many, many transcripts with these kind of gross errors, simply because some transcriptionists do not take the context of the rest of the content of a transcript into consideration. While proofing I've seen numerous instances of a transcriptionist just typing whatever he/she thought he/she heard, without stopping to think that it has no relevance to the subject at hand and giving it another listen.

A so-so transcriptionist might do a few Google searches, not come up with anything concrete, and mark it as unverified in some way and moved on.

A highly-skilled transcriptionist will go the extra mile to figure out what the term in question is, especially when it is used extensively throughout the transcript. Searching for L'Oréal experimentation turned up nothing, as did a few other terms from later in the transcript. (Important point – sometimes you can find a really good resource on the subject by using other terminology, and it will help you figure out other terms by scanning the website.)

As luck would have it, a few more minutes into the file, the speaker mentioned "the HTE approach," and I thought, "Hmm, I wonder what HTE stands for?" A quick Google search of L'Oréal HTE told me that it's an acronym for High-Throughput Experimentation. Eureka!!! That's when it clicked that he was saying "high-throughput," and not arthropod (which I already knew, but I didn't have to mark it as questionable)!

It's so satisfying to be able to fill in the blanks like that. Call me crazy, but it's one of the reasons I love transcription!

1 Comment:

margi said...

And a job well done! This, too, is why I take pride in my work. I will Google 'Til I Get It Right. Hah.