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Our Research

The InSite system is a workflow and open source publishing system for getting the most out of an interview.

The workflow is a set of best practices for recording, transcribing, and organizing interviews. This workflow dovetails with an open source publishing system that allows audiences to efficiently navigate and search text, audio and video content, and share any portion in context.

The system came out of a quest to answer this question:

What if interviews were more accurate, transparent and useful for journalists and audiences?

Our goal: a system of best practices that

  • is idiot proof
  • is PC/Mac and Android/iPhone agnostic
  • uses as much open source software as possible
  • requires few changes from existing habits

The Living History site shows the InSite publishing system in action. Oral history video interviews are published with interactive transcripts using open source publishing software that’s based on standards. The interviews are also annotated.

You can navigate an oral history video by clicking on its transcript. When you select and copy a transcript quote it automatically includes a direct link to that quote. Click the direct link to see and hear the quote in context.

Our Colophon page details the open source publishing software. Although we designed the InSite publishing system to make interviews more usable and transparent, the system can also be used to provide interactive transcripts for any audio or video, including podcasts and documentaries.

The workflow includes best practices for recording, transcribing and organizing interviews so transcript material can be gathered and formatted efficiently. It also addresses journalists’ pain points such as the distractions of recording and note taking, the tedium of transcribing, and the difficulties of navigating and sharing interview material.

The best practices are modular: it’s easy to plug an existing recording into the system before the transcribing step, or an existing transcription before the publishing step.

Here’s a schematic of our current best practices that also includes approximate costs of the parts of the system where the best practice is commercial software or hardware:

Click through the slideshow below for details, including insights from the 45 journalists we interviewed – 12 Pulitzer Prize winners among them.

For a detailed explanation of our best practices, See InSite: A Guide

Kim Patch Posted 2016-11-29 Updated 2018-03-20