We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Transcription Error?

By Eugene P.
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Language & Humanities is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Language & Humanities, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A transcription error is a mistake made when a person is performing data entry from one form of recorded documentation to another, usually a computer-oriented text document or electronic records system. Certain businesses, such as medical and legal offices, regularly require hand-written notes, audio tapes and other informal documents to be transcribed into a formal electronic version. There are many reasons why a transcription error may occur, the most common being simple human error, although the use of optical character recognition (OCR) software also can lead to errors. Some preventive measures that can be taken to reduce the possibility of a transcription error include double data entry of the same source material and automated software that checks syntax and the context of sentences.

There really is no industry that does not experience a transcription error on occasion. The act of transcribing information — and the amount to be transcribed — usually requires that data entry workers maintain a fast pace that can ultimately lead to an error. Human-caused transcription errors can result from the person not looking at the computer screen when typing, the inability to accurately read or hear the source material, or simply because of a physical slip or misplacement of the fingers. In some situations, there is an acceptable error rate for data entry workers; in other situations, such as those encountered in the medical field, even a minor transcription error can cause disastrous results.

One form of transcription involves OCR software. This software will take a scanned image of a document and attempt to isolate and translate individual letters and words on a page, converting them into a digital text document. A transcription error can occur if the software is unable to determine what a specific letter actually is. This can be the result of illegible handwriting, a poorly copied document that is blotchy, dirt on the scanner or wrinkles and other imperfections in the paper. The only resolution, and the only way to catch errors that happen this way, is to have a person proofread the resulting document.

The possibility of making a transcription error increases when the context of the source material is unknown to the data entry worker. Unfamiliarity with technical terms or the use of long, confusing codes might lead a data entry clerk to make incorrect assumptions about the intention of the source material, causing misspellings, errors or incorrect grammatical structuring. This can frequently occur during the transcription of legal materials, which is why people who regularly transcribe legal documents may be required to have some background in the legal field.

Language & Humanities is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.