Proofreading, the Key to Transcription Accuracy

Proofreading is one of several key quality control measures that transcription providers have implemented to ensure their clients are satisfied with the transcription service they provide. There are many levels of proofreading that are undertaken in the industry. The transcriber should proofread each document upon completion. This will give the transcriber an opportunity to make sure that the document is a true representation of the recording as well as a chance to pick up and change any incorrect entries especially when using proficiency tools like spell checkers and text expanders.

Transcript accuracy also means ensuring that any specific information provided by the client has been strictly adhered to. It is the proofreader’s responsibility to ensure the document is grammatically correct and that it is punctuated correctly. Anyone typing at high speed will make errors and these errors are generally picked up when a document is proofed or read for a second time. It is impractical to expect 100% accuracy in transcription work and this is why the transcripts are proofed.

Many things will impact on the accuracy of a transcript, such as the quality of the audio, background noise, the clarity of the speakers, speakers muttering and speaking sotto voce, accents of speakers, two or three or more speakers all speaking at the one time, unusual names, place names, use of scientific legal or medical terms, accurate information provided or not provided by the client.

Transcription services who employ directly, or by contract, often have one or more dedicated proofreaders that perform quality assessments of randomly selected documents. The percentage of documents reviewed will vary by individual, document type, and transcriber experience. A newly hired transcriber can expect to have most if not all of their work examined to insure that reports are accurate and procedures are being followed. Transcribers doing difficult or complex reports may have their work proofread more often.

With the use of speech recognition growing every day the role of the transcriber is becoming more that of a proofreader. Many clients that are using speech recognition are employing traditional transcribers as proofreader/editors. The document is created by a speech recognition application from a recording made by the client. It is the responsibility of the proofreader/editor to verify and correct any words or phrase that is incorrect. This job is just as demanding as traditional transcribing because the final product still relies on the skill of the proofreader.