Document Preparation Policies
In order to provide uniformity in the word processing documents created for SpeakWrite account holders, and to ensure account holders and SpeakWrite typists are working from the same standards and expectations, the following rules and guidelines will be followed in the preparation of all customer documents.
All work for SpeakWrite customers will be transcribed verbatim as dictated. We will not try to guess or anticipate what a client might have meant. If a client dictates “the grass is blue and the sky is green”, that is what will be transcribed.
Out of Scope
Despite any oral instruction, written instruction or template instruction provided by the client, SpeakWrite typists do not do the following:
- Alphabetize – Place in chronological order – Or type in any order other than what is dictated
If a client requests any of these actions, the content will just be transcribed in the order that it is dictated.
- Replace or correct formatting
If a client indicates that all dates should be typed in a certain format, regardless of how they are dictated, or that certain words or phrases should be replaced with acronyms or initials, regardless of how they are dictated, or if any other global formatting changes are requested or instructed, this action is outside our scope of service. All dictation will be typed as it is dictated.
- Music lyric transcription
SpeakWrite does not transcribe music lyrics. Jobs received containing music lyrics for transcription will be rejected. This applies only to actual ‘songs’, with music included.
- Recreate forms
Content submitted from PDF files will be transcribed, however typists are unable to re-create complex formatting represented in the original file. Any work involving more than two columns will be typed in a table format. Please note there is a 10-page limit on scanned PDF files. Documents greater than 10 pages in length should be submitted as separate jobs (in 10 page blocks).
In the event there are conflicting instructions or directions from a client in regard to how a job is to be handled, or confusion as to how a certain word processing issue is to be resolved, SpeakWrite typists use the following priorities when completing a document:
- Typists will only do work that is within the SpeakWrite Scope of Service. (See above)
- In the event of conflicting or unclear instructions, the Typist will:
- Follow any verbal instructions from the client provided in that particular dictation.
- If there are no verbal instructions on the issue, they will follow the client’s standing written instructions or preferences for their jobs.
- If there is neither of the above on the issue, the typist will follow any client template format that has been referenced.
- If none of above conditions are applicable, the typist will follow the standard SpeakWrite formatting and policies set forth here.
If none of the above cover the issue, the typists will use their individual discretion and experience in making the determination.
Client Instructions to Internal Staff
When a client dictates instructions to his or her internal staff, or engages in discussions with another person that clearly are not part of the dictation, these will be transcribed and placed in brackets and in bold.
If the client gives instructions to the SpeakWrite typist, clearly identifiable as such, the typist will follow the instructions given, but not type any part of them.
SpeakWrite typists are instructed to refer to a client’s Word List for obscure spellings or unknown words. However, they are processing many jobs in a single day, so to ensure that the typists check the spelling of any peculiar word against your Word List, you should verbally indicate that a particular word is “in my Word List” or something similar, so that they will know to check there for the proper spelling.
To ensure your desired Custom Filename is used on a job you must use the phrase ‘Custom Filename’ when designating it. This helps prevent the typist from misinterpreting the name as just part of the material to be transcribed.
If multiple Custom Filenames are given by a client in a single job, all will be included as the Custom Filename.
To avoid problems with job submissions and to ensure that a Custom Filename is not omitted when the job is submitted:
- Do not dictate any file type descriptor such as .doc or .wpd
- Do not use any of the following punctuation: / , : ; & (forward or backward slashes, comma, colon, semi-colon, ampersand)
Jobs with No Audio
When a typist receives a job with no audio, the job will automatically submitted back to you with a note indicating that there was no work to be transcribed. If you feel that you have received this message in error, contact Customer Support at (800) 828-3889.
Dictation Ends Abruptly
If a dictation job ends abruptly, the typist is instructed to type ‘Dictation Ends Here’. This indicates that they have transcribed everything they received.
End of Dictation
When a client dictates “end of dictation” the typist will submit the job as complete at that point, even if the audio continues. (Customers often leave their recording devices on after they have completed their dictation, so our typists use this verbal instruction as an indication that the job is complete.)
When Dictation Continues (Unintentionally)
For jobs where the initial audio for the job appears to be complete, but the audio then continues, the typist will continue to type the duration of the audio unless the words ‘end of dictation’ are dictated.
- This situation can occur when clients do not turn off their recording devices after they have completed their dictation, or when a customer uses previously recorded tapes for new jobs.
Such occurrences are handled in this manner so as not to leave your job incomplete. To avoid the transcription of unwanted material, be sure to erase prior dictations fully before re-using an old tape, and ensure your dictation device is turned off when your dictation is complete.
Sending Jobs to Multiple Addresses
During the dictation of any job, a client can add one or more additional email addresses for receipt of that completed transcript by verbally requesting such as a part of the dictated material. Requests to send additional copies must be directed to “SpeakWrite typist” and you must spell out the email address. This will apply only to that one job.
- When an additional email address for a particular job is indicated, be very careful to state the additional email address slowly and carefully, and repeat it if possible. Unlike the email address registered with your account, typists must understand these added addresses perfectly for the additional delivery to be made.
If you want to change your Account Preferences to have all future jobs sent to multiple addresses, you can contact Customer Support at (800) 828-3889, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Typists are instructed to use Templates only when a client specifically requests a ‘Template’ by name.
For example, if during dictation you intend for a typist to use your ‘Letterhead Template,’ you must request your “Letterhead Template” during dictation. If you simply request your letterhead, the typist may not include the Template since the word ‘Template’ was not used. If you have more than one template of a certain type, please request the exact Template required, by name.
In order for a Template to be used in a job, it must be requested at the beginning of the dictation. If a Template is requested in the middle or at the end of a dictation, the Template will not be used.
Multiple Documents in One Phone Job
If a client has a series of letters or documents that they would like to dictate in one call, they can keep dictating and indicate “next document” after each. Using this instruction tells the typist to continue to type each of the documents in one MS Word file. Clients can then cut and paste into different files upon receipt.
If the client would like for the documents to be returned as separate jobs, and therefore separate email attachments, they can press the # key on their telephone keypad between each job and follow the instructions to have jobs separated into different files.
SpeakWrite typists are instructed to type exactly what is said, even if they believe the grammar or syntax is incorrect. To ensure that clients receive their transcriptions exactly as dictated, we do not correct grammar nor otherwise correct your work in any way.
Misunderstood Words, Names or Languages
If a typist is unable to understand a word in a dictated job, or is not familiar with the spelling of it, they will not attempt to guess at the word or the spelling. Instead, the typist will place a series of four asterisks (****) at that point in the transcription. This will indicate to the client that there was a word or words at this point that were misunderstood, couldn’t be heard or that need additional attention. Typists will attempt to spell names phonetically if they are not verbally spelled or on a client’s Word List.
Unless otherwise specified, and specifically requested by the client, our documents will always follow the following layout specifications:
- Left justification
- Single spacing
- One line between paragraphs
- Paragraphs indented with 1/2 inch tab
- Page layout set to 100%
- One inch margins
- No page numbering
- Date and signature will be started at the 3″ mark (They will only be left justified when specified)
- Suite name, room number and floor number will be on the same line as address, separated by a comma
- One line will be placed between City/State/Zip, then ‘attention’ line
- No ‘closing’ included, unless instructed
- ‘Enclosures’ will be typed at the left margin, with each enclosure underneath at the left margin
- ‘Do not indent’ can be formatted as not indenting paragraph or as no part of the correspondence is indented
- Full block will be treated as left justification set for every element
- “Dear so and so” will be indicated with ‘_____’ (as dictation implies party was not known)
- 12 point font
- Double spacing
- No extra spaces between paragraphs
- Indent paragraphs with 1/2 inch tab
- Standard formatting of all caps for “COMES NOW” and “WHEREFORE”
Note 1: Due to the varied formatting requirements of different courts and jurisdictions, it is strongly recommended that pleading templates be used wherever possible.
Note 2: SpeakWrite is currently unable to use numbered pleading paper for documents delivered in Corel. As a result, when delivered they will contain a note to your in house staff ‘[Place on pleading paper]’.
In accordance with the SpeakWrite policy of transcribing all work verbatim, the exact words dictated by the client will be transcribed (For instance, the typist will type ‘can’t’ if that is what is said and ‘cannot’ if that is what is said).
If a client wants to establish a uniform policy of never wanting to use contractions, they can contact Customer Support at (800) 828-3889 and so indicate, one time, and their account will be noted to be handled that way on all future jobs.
Formatting for Multiple Speakers – Interviews & Non-Interviews
Interview – Speaker Not Named
Speaker 1: Where were you Dec. 14, 2013 at 8pm?
Speaker 2: I was at home.
Speaker 1: Was anyone else there?
Other Speaker: I object
Speaker 1: What hours were you home?
Interview – Speaker Named
John Doe: Where were you Dec. 14, 2013 at 8pm?
Sally Smith: I was at home.
John Doe: Was anyone else there?
Other Speaker: I object.
John Doe: What hours were you home?
An interview is a recording of 2 speakers. In the case of an interview where a third party interjects, and the voices can be distinguished, the typist will label the 3rd speaker as “Other Speaker.” If 3 or more speakers are continuously talking, the typist will follow the Non-Interview format.
Non-Interview – Speaker Not Named
Speaker 1: We’re here to discuss settlement today. Speaker 2: Thank you for having us. Speaker 1: Great, let’s get started. Next Speaker: Before we start, Mike has a question. Next Speaker: What deadline is currently in place? Next Speaker: January 24th, 2014.
Non-Interview – Speaker Named
John Doe: We’re here to discuss settlement today.
Sally Smith: Thank you for having us.
John Doe: Great, let’s get started.
Next Speaker: Before we start, Mike has a question.
Next Speaker: What deadline is currently in place?
Next Speaker: January 24th, 2014.
In a Non-Interview recording, once 3 or more speakers are talking, all speakers from that point forward will be labeled as “Next Speaker.”
Reasons a Job May be Rejected
- Excessive interference and/or static on the audio
- Audio fading in and out
- Audio volume set too low
- Distorted dictation from speaking too close to the microphone
- Dictating too fast
- Dictating too slow
- Mumbling throughout the dictation
- Excessive medical terms
- Action requested is outside Scope of Service
- Legal job submitted on General account
If the typist is unfamiliar with a medical term the typist will first spell it phonetically if possible, or simply replace the word with **** if they are unable to understand the word. If a job contains too much medical terminology, it will be rejected.
“Strike That” / “Check That”
In the event a client dictates something, and then indicates that it should be deleted, the typist will type what was dictated and simply include [Strike that]. Our typists follow this policy, so that your original thoughts and dictation remain intact. If the client wants to edit out these portions upon receipt of their final document, they will have the ability to do so.
In accordance with the SpeakWrite policy of transcribing all work verbatim, typists are instructed to never correct grammar or punctuation in any work dictated.