Error correction strategies of professional speech recognition users: three profiles

M.A.J.C. Leijten, D.M.L. Janssen, L.L.M. van Waes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


One of the challenges in writing research in general is to explain the structural variation in writing processes within and between subjects. More or less recursivity has been attributed to writing experience, proficiency, task characteristics and the writing mode or medium. This study focuses on professional writers (n = 10) who use a modern writing instrument – speech recognition – as their primary tool for text production and revision. More specifically we are interested in the way this new technology affects the cognitive processes that underlie text production. In our study we have focused on error correction. We provide a description of the errors that professional speech recognition users need to deal with, how they deal with them and why they opt for various error correction strategies. Different converging research methods were used: (1) product, (2) process, and (3) protocol analysis. The results are described on two levels: the overall level and the subgroup level (three writer groups).

The results show that the contrast between immediate and delayed error correction is quite decisive for the way in which writers structure their writing process. Next to this, the distinction between technical problems and revisions also plays an important role. Most writers prefer solving technical problems immediately. The same does not necessarily hold for other revisions. However, the revision behavior is not random: overall results show three distinct patterns or profiles of error correction. First, there are writers who prefer writing a first time final draft and solve technical problems immediately as well as revising the text produced so far immediately (handle profile). Second, writers who solve more than half of the deficiencies in the text produced so far immediately, but who also delay or postpone various technical problems and revisions (postpone revisions profile). Finally, writers who prefer delaying error correction and who delay technical problems to a second draft (postpone technical problems profile).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)964-975
Number of pages12
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Cognitive processes
  • Error correction
  • Inputlog
  • Keystroke logging
  • On-line writing processes
  • Pauses
  • Pause analysis
  • Research methods
  • Speech recognition
  • Writing modes
  • Writing observation


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