One bonus of conducting interviews over Zoom in the COVID-19 era is that Zoom will auto-generate a transcript of the interview. This is a huge timesaver because there are few things as tedious as manually transcribing an hour-plus long interview (multiplied by anywhere from 20 to 100--the typical number of interviews conducted for a single project). It's a lot. So when I found out about Zoom's free transcription service, I was very excited.
I have found that the quality of Zoom's transcripts is pretty good. Of course, they will still require some manual editing, depending on how much jargon is used, whether there is background noise, etc. One of the biggest drawbacks to the Zoom transcripts has been, in my experience, the atrocious formatting. The formatting produces extremely long documents that are hard to read. After downloading my first Zoom transcript, I began to manually reformat it and quickly realized that any time saved by the auto-transcription would be wasted by manual reformatting.
So I wrote a program to do the reformatting for me.
The program, which you can download here, is written for R. I have made it as user-friendly as possible. All you have to do is change a few lines of the code (to specify the working directory, the filename, and the participant name) and the rest you can leave untouched. You will find instructions within the file.
I hope this can save us interview researchers some collective time!
The views expressed in this blog and on this website are my own.