I am posting this at the request of Judy Rakocinski and Cathy Watson. It's been three years since the last poll was done. Needless to say, the more people who participate, the better. If you have any questions, let me know and I'll answer them here.


Here is the new survey for 2010! It is for scopists, proofreaders, and transcriptionists. Please be sure to read the information at the beginning of the poll. The survey will close January 31st, so that should give EVERYONE plenty of time to respond. Those responding will receive the poll results as soon as they are ready. You will also have permission from us to post a link to the poll on your Web site, blog, etc. If you do not participate in the survey, you will have to wait to view the results when they are posted for the general public. This will most likely be 30 days after the poll is released. The more people that respond, the better the results. PLEASE participate!!!

Click this link to take the survey:
http://www.mazco.org/rates_survey.htm

Thanks,
Judy

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Cindy,

This survey is in its third revision. The first one was done in 2002, I believe, and progressed to a more formal one in 2007. The poll was initiated by Judy Rakocinski and Cathy Watson who run BeST Scoping School. I can't speak for them, but I would imagine that their scoping students have an interest in knowing how much this job pays. From my experience, however, there's a lot more people that benefit from the results of the poll than scoping students.

The objective of the poll is to get a range of rates for the various services scopists, transcriptionists, and proofreaders charge; it's not a situation of telling anyone what they have to charge, which would violate antitrust laws and would be considered price-fixing. And it's for that reason that many forums don't allow public discussion of page rates and eliminate the option of "why not just ask directly" as you mentioned.

Yes, there are many factors that go into page rates. To ask about each of those factors would make the survey even longer than it is now and really serves no purpose since the goal is to get a range for the various services. One question that is asked, however, is if the participant discounts their page rates for good writers, and that's something that I believe is the most important factor -- to both scopists and reporters -- in determining page rates.

As far as requesting participants' names, the reasoning for such is given on the poll. I imagine someone could submit the poll anonymously and then view it when published, but my gut feeling is that it might affect the veracity of the poll results.

The completed surveys are automatically sent to an outside firm for tabulation. That's obvious once someone hits the Finish button. I sincerely doubt anyone is looking at those completed surveys to say, "Oh, Karen Jones is charging this for that type of work."

There is nothing sinister or odd about the reasons for taking this poll. I've been working with reporters since 1982 and have been involved in online reporting forums since the late '90s. Page rates come up often in conversations, and if I or any other scopist (new or veteran) wanted to cost-compare, the information is given freely via e-mail. Heck, many scopists even put their page rates on their websites nowadays. Personally, I don't think it's a good idea because there's no reason for a reporter to contact a scopist if the information they're seeking is there in plain view. As we all know, oftentimes there's much more that goes into making a reporter-scopist connection than just rates.

Anyway, I digress.

I have no interest other than personal in the repeated success of this poll. I volunteered to post the link on the various reporting-related forums I'm a member of because I've gotten to know Judy over the years through online participation and wanted to get the word out to as many scopists, proofreaders, and transcriptionists as possible. Like everyone else, I'll only see the results, not the names of the participants. And as I told Kelli, reporters -- as they have in the past -- will have access to the results.

I'm sorry you're not going to participate, Cindy; however, that's your choice. I just wanted to answer some of your questions and assure you that this poll has been around for a while; scopists and reporters who have been involved in online forums for any length of time have known of its existence; and there's absolutely no ulterior motive in its creation.

Karen
Cindy,

You're way off the subject here talking about scoping schools. FWIW, I never attended one having gotten my steno-reading and transcript production training years ago from my best friend who's a highly-respected reporter. The point is, however I feel about scoping schools, I don't see how that comes into play for the subject here.

Quite frankly, I wasn't being defensive about the poll. If my message of explanation came across that way, so be it.

I've never seen your website so that comment wasn't meant for you personally. If I offended you, sorry, but that's the way I feel about posting rates.

Karen
Hi, Kelli,

Yeah, this is a rates poll, not rating poll

Reporters are not totally left out, though. As in the past, once the poll is completed, anyone can view it. If you'd like, I'll post a link here for it when that point comes or I can just e-mail it to you.

Karen
Kelli,

Since I can't edit my message to you, I want you to know there was a "grin" thrown in after my first sentence that's not showing up here. It was meant to be lighthearted.

Karen

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