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Frequently Asked Questions

Updated August 2017

Working for CastingWords

     Who freelances for CastingWords?
     What are the requirements?
     I live in _. Can I work for CastingWords?
     Do I have to do a certain amount of work?
     Can I close my account?
     Do you use rejected work?

Getting Paid

     How do I get paid?
     What kind of PayPal account do I need?
     Can I use someone else's PayPal account?
     Do I need to fill out an IRS Form W-9?
     I need to send you a W-9. What do I do?
     Will you send me an IRS Form 1099?

Signing up

     Where do I start?
     Can I share an account with someone else?
     Can I have more than one account?
     Do I have to take a test?
     What if I can't complete the test in the time given?
     I submitted the test. What's next?

Using the Site

     I passed the test. Now what?
     The Dashboard
          What is Streak?
          What are Jobs Completed / Pending Approval / Approvals / Rejections?
          The Feedback panel
          The Payment panel
     The Available Jobs List
          Can I sort and filter the Available Jobs list?
          What does the "Avg Pay" column show?
          What does the "Pay/Min" column show?
          I don't know if I'll get a 7. How can I tell how much I'll REALLY earn?
          When will you add more assignments to the Available Jobs list?
     The My Jobs tab
     The Leaderboard
     The My Account tab
          What is the bio for?
          How can I update my email/PayPal info/password?

Getting to Work

     How do jobs work?
     What kinds of jobs are there?
     How can I tell which jobs I can accept?
     Why aren't there any jobs for me?
     I'm ready to try my first assignment. What do I do?
     How can I download the audio?
     How much time do I have to complete the job?
     This isn't working out. Can I return the assignment?
     I need more time. Can I get an extension?
     I speak _. Is there any work in my language?

Badges

     How do badges work?
     How can I earn more badges?
     Is it possible to lose a badge?
     What do I do if I lose a badge?
     How many badges can I get?

Grades and Feedback

     What does my grade mean?
     Why does my transcription job have more than one grade?
     Do I have to get certain grades to remain in good standing?
     How long does it take for a job to be approved?
     Can I see what changes the editor made?
     Why did the editor replace a word with the same word?
     My assignment was rejected. Does that mean I just gave you my work for free?
     My grade is unfair! What can I do?
     What is Auto Approval and why does it keep giving me 8s??

Troubleshooting

     My assignment expired before the deadline!
     I submitted the wrong/blank/incomplete text, help!
     My computer crashed/power went out/Internet died and my job is about to expire!
     Can I get a job back after I return it or it expires?

Other Questions

     What do the abbreviations mean?
     Can I communicate with other freelancers?
     Do the customers see workers' names?
     Where's the small print?
     Contact us

Working for CastingWords

Who freelances for CastingWords?

Our workers are the (not-so) secret ingredient of CastingWords.com! They do the transcribing, editing, QA and more. They can work from anywhere they have a computer and Internet access, and on their own time. No obligations!

Our workers are freelancers, also known as independent contractors, and as such are responsible for their own tax reporting under the tax laws of their respective countries. In the US, being an independent contractor means you are self employed. See this IRS page on Self Employed Individuals for helpful information on US tax requirements.

What are the requirements?

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must live in one of our supported countries (see below).
  • You must be able to receive the type of payments we issue (see below).
  • It must be legal for you work for us as an Independent Contractor under any applicable employment, tax, or other laws.

If you meet the requirements, see the Signing Up section to get started!

I live in __. Can I work for CastingWords?

Probably! You can work for CastingWords if you live in one of the following countries, territories, etc.:

Andorra, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Bermuda, Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Congo (Republic of), Congo (Democratic Republic of), Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Faroe Islands, Finland, France, French Guiana, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Korea (Republic of), Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mauritania, Mayotte, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mongolia, Montserrat, Mozambique, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Niue, Norfolk Island, Norway, Oman, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Pitcairn, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Réunion, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Saint Helena, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City State, Venezuela, Vietnam, British Virgin Islands, Wallis and Futuna, Yemen.

In addition to living in one of the places listed above, you must be able to receive the type of payments we issue. See How do I get paid? below.

Finally, it must be legal for you to work for us as an Independent Contractor, under any applicable laws, and you are responsible for meeting your country's requirements for tax reporting.

Do I have to do a certain amount of work?

No. As an Independent Contractor, you set your own schedule, hours, and frequency. You can work all the time, or just here and there, as you like. You can even subcontract to others. See Can I share an account with someone else?

Can I close my account?

Yes. Log in, click on the My Account tab, then on the Edit Profile button, then on the Close Account button.

Please note that once you do this, you will be unable to log back in. If you change your mind and want to reactivate your account, you will need to email Support.

Do you use rejected work?

Never. If your assignment is rejected, that means in the approver's judgment it would cost us more to fix it up than to get it redone. The work is discarded and the assignment is sent back out immediately to be redone. If you were not paid, we did not use your submission.

See the Grading Guidelines for more info on what constitutes a passing or failing grade.

Getting Paid

How do I get paid?

We issue payment via the PayPal MassPay system. We pay the PayPal fees, so you get the full balance of your account when we transfer your funds.

We have scheduled transfers every Friday at 10:00 AM Pacific Time (GMT-7 or GMT-8, depending on the time of year). You can let your earnings accumulate from week to week, or request a transfer any time prior to a scheduled payout.

There is also one mandatory payout at the end of the calendar year, for all standard Workshop accounts.

If you have at least one dollar in your CastingWords account and want to receive a transfer that Friday, click the Request Transfer button on your Dashboard any time during the week. Your transfer will include the full balance of your account at the time the transfer goes out, including any money you have earned since clicking the Request Transfer button.

What kind of PayPal account do I need?

The only financial information you ever provide to CastingWords is your PayPal address -- meaning the email address associated with your PayPal account.

You are responsible for providing the correct PayPal address, making sure that your PayPal account can receive the money we send you, and that you can then access that money, for example by transferring it to your bank.

Set up your PayPal account so that PayPal considers it fully verified. You will provide PayPal with your address and bank account information, and assure that what you provide to them exactly matches the information that your bank and credit card companies have on file. You will provide PayPal with your SSN, EIN, or other information depending on where you live.

Make sure you follow all of PayPal's guidelines, such as having only one PayPal account linked to your bank account, credit cards, SSN, name, etc. Failure to follow their guidelines could lead to PayPal locking your account.

Depending how much money you make (from CastingWords and other sources), you may also want to check with PayPal to see whether there are limits on how much money you can accumulate in your PayPal account, how you can access that money, or how much you can transfer out in a given time period. Some people have had their PayPal accounts locked because they reached a limit they didn't know existed.

Can I use someone else's PayPal account?

No, the PayPal account must belong to the person who owns the workshop account.

Do I need to fill out an IRS Form W-9?

CastingWords is a US company and obeys US tax laws.

While PayPal is considered the payer of record for tax purposes, CastingWords is required to keep a W-9 on file for any worker who qualifies as a "US person" according to the IRS.

For federal tax purposes, you are a US person if any of the following apply to you:

  1. You are an individual who is a US citizen or US resident alien.

  2. You are a partnership, corporation, company, or association created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States.

  3. You are an estate (other than a foreign estate).

  4. You are a domestic trust (as defined in Regulations section 301.7701-7).

If you are a US person, you need to send us a completed W-9 for our records. See the next question for details.

I need to send you a W-9. What do I do?

Click here to download a blank copy of the W-9 form.

Fill out and date the form, sign (if required per the form instructions), then send Page 1 to us in one of these two ways:

  1. Scan or photograph Page 1 of your completed W-9 and email a clearly legible copy to us at support@castingwords.com. Be sure to send it from the email address that is associated with your account.

  2. Or, mail a hard copy to the address below. Be sure to include a note to let us know the email address associated with your account.

    CastingWords, LLC
    2144 41st St
    Unit A
    Los Alamos, NM 87544

Will you send me an IRS Form 1099?

No. Per IRS rule changes that went into effect in 2013, PayPal is considered the payer of record for your earnings, so CastingWords does not send out 1099s.

PayPal may send you a 1099-K, depending on the total amount of your earnings. See Paypal's Tax information reporting for online sellers page for more information.

For your own tax purposes, you can always find your total earnings from the Workshop site, broken down by calendar year, under the Pay section of your Dashboard.

Signing Up

Where do I start?

If you are at least 18 years of age and live in one of our supported countries, you can create an account. Click here to get started.

Can I share an account with someone else?

Yes. As an Independent Contractor, you are responsible for the work submitted on your account, but you may produce that work as you see fit. You may choose to subcontract to others, or let them submit assignments on your account.

However, keep in mind that both payment and performance/score tracking are handled on a per-account basis.

Any work submitted on your account affects your track record. Since our system values consistent performance, having a mix of skill levels contributing can keep the entire account from advancing to higher levels.

Can I have more than one account?

No. For tax reasons, each Independent Contractor is limited to a single account.

Do I have to take a test?

Yes. When you create an account, you will be asked to provide basic information and fill out a brief bio, then you will be directed to a transcription test where you will transcribe a short audio file.

The test serves as an introduction to our assignment format, and also allows us to verify that your work is accurate, displays correct English usage, and that you have read and understood the style basics outlined in the Quick Start Guide.

Please note that after passing the test, you will need to read and understand the full-length Style Guide before working on paying assignments.

What if I can't complete the test in the time given?

If you have technical difficulties, change your mind, are called away before finishing, or will not be able to complete the test for any reason, simply click the Return button at the top of the assignment page and select the most relevant reason to return the assignment. All reasons are valid, and you can try again at your convenience.

There is currently no penalty for letting the test expire. In most cases you can sign back in and try again when you are ready. Email Support if you have any trouble.

Please note that there is a penalty if a paid assignment expires, so once you pass the test, be aware of deadlines and make sure to return anything you can't or don't want to complete.

I submitted the test. What's next?

When your test has been reviewed, you will receive an email notifying you of the results. This can take anywhere from a few seconds up to a week or two.

If your test is approved, see the next section for more info on signing in, familiarizing yourself with the site, and getting to work.

If your test is rejected, you may or may not be able to retake it, depending on the type of issues that caused the rejection. If you are eligible to retake the test, there is a one-week waiting period. The email will include a date after which you can sign in and try again.

Using the Site

I passed the test. Now what?

Once your account is fully set up and you have passed the transcription test, take a few minutes to click around the Workshop interface and become familiar with the different parts of the site.

The three parts of the Workshop site that you will use the most are your Dashboard, the Available Jobs list, and your My Jobs tab.

The Dashboard

The Dashboard provides an overview of your account and jobs. Here you can see your badges, read the feedback on your most recent assignments, and check how much you've earned.

What is Streak?

The Streak shows how many days in a row you have worked. Many of our freelancers like to keep track of this, or compete with themselves or others (via the Streak Leaderboard).

The Streak is for your reference only, and has no bearing on your grades, badges, track record, etc. The frequency and quantity of work you do is up to you.

What are Jobs Completed/Pending Approval/Approvals/Rejections?

These are pretty much what they look like! Each folder contains links to the assignments that fit that category.

The folder contents are organized by month. The number showing on your Dashboard corresponds to the current calendar month, so it will reset to zero at the beginning of a new month.

When you open any folder, you will find ◄ Previous Month and Next Month ► links at the bottom, so you can navigate to the time period you need.

Assignments in the Pending Approval folder continue to process normally, even if they move to the "Previous Month" screen before they have been approved or rejected.

The Feedback Panel

This section of the Dashboard shows the feedback on your most recent assignments.

Use the All feedback ► link to see a chronological list of all your assignments, and their grades and feedback.

Use the All transactions ► link to see a chronological list of all payments into your account, and withdrawals you have made from it.

The Payment Panel

This section of your Dashboard shows how much money is currently in your Workshop account, as well as a summary of how much we have transferred to your PayPal account to date, broken down by year.

The Today's Potential Pay figure is an estimate only, based on the average pay for the jobs you have turned in today. Your actual pay may be higher or lower, depending on the grades you receive, and if any jobs are rejected. Pending jobs that were completed on previous days are not included in this estimate.

See How do I get paid? for details on using the Request Transfer button.

The Available Jobs List

Can I sort and filter the Available Jobs list?

Yes. You can sort and filter the list in several ways. You can also combine the sort and filter tools to zero in on just what you want to see.

  1. Use the Category Drop-Down to show only one type of job. This defaults to "All."

  2. Type in the Search Field to show only jobs that contain a particular word or phrase in the title.

  3. Click the All Jobs and Available Jobs links (located below the search field) to toggle back and forth between showing every job currently posted, or only those that you are eligible to accept.

  4. Click on any Column Header to sort by the values in that column. Click again to reverse the sort order.

Important note: The Available Jobs list does not auto-refresh, so be sure to reload the page from time to time to make sure you're looking at the most up-to-date listing.

What does the "Avg Pay" column show?

A lot of our assignments are bonus-based, meaning that the pay will vary widely depending on the grade you earn.

The Avg Pay column shows the total pay you will receive for the assignment if you earn an average grade, which is a 7. A grade of 5 or 6 will earn less than the amount shown in this column, while an 8 or a 9 will earn more.

What does the "Pay/Min" column show?

The purpose of this column is to help you find higher paying jobs more quickly by showing you the per-minute return. This allows you to compare the earning potential of different jobs, even if they are not the same length.

Like the Average Pay column, Pay/Min is based on an average grade, meaning a 7.

This column shows how much you will earn per minute of audio if your work receives the grade of 7. A grade of 5 or 6 will earn less per minute than the amount shown in this column, while an 8 or a 9 will earn more.

The Pay/Min column only applies to jobs such as transcription and editing, where pay is based on the length of the audio file. Some assignments, such as grading and audio assessment, pay a flat rate regardless of the length of the audio.

I don't know if I'll get a 7. How can I tell how much I'll REALLY earn?

The main Available Jobs list allows you to compare different assignments to each other, by showing you the pay based on a grade of 7.

Open an individual job and look for the Understanding Bonus Based Pay box on the Instructions tab for a breakdown of exactly how much you will earn for each possible grade on that specific assignment.

When will you add more assignments to the Available Jobs list?

New assignments are posted automatically as soon as a customer places an order and we get the audio file(s) processed.

More orders do tend to come in during business hours corresponding to US time zones, but the system operates 24/7 and new jobs can and do come out at any time.

The My Jobs tab

Get used to checking this tab! The My Jobs tab shows every job currently assigned to you, along with a live countdown clock showing the time remaining on each.

If you lose power or close your browser while working on a job, this is how you can get back to the assignment page.

Especially when you are new, it's a great idea to access all your work via this tab, to avoid mistakenly working on a job that is not actually assigned to you.

Any time you return or submit a job, you can refresh this tab to make sure it went through; if a job is no longer showing in My Jobs, then you succesfully submitted or returned it.

Check your My Jobs tab before signing out or shutting down for the day, just to make sure there's nothing assigned to you that you don't intend to complete.

Important note: While you can always get back to the assignment page of a job that is assigned to you, your browser does not save your work, so we highly recommend that you work in an environment that will allow you to save as you go, such as Word, Google Docs, Notepad, TextEdit, etc. Your work is not saved until you submit the assignment.

The Leaderboard

Leaderboard categories include Streak, Transcription, Editing and Overall. The Leaderboard is updated every hour and includes jobs that were approved in the last 7 days. Leaderboard position does not affect grades, badges, track record, etc.

The My Account Tab

What is the bio for?

The short professional bio is currently used inside the Workshop so your co-workers can learn something about you.

In the future, we'll allow our customers to see the freelancers on their projects, tag favorite workers, and request specific workers. Bios will be shown to CastingWords customers as part of that process.

You can edit your bio (and other account info) by clicking on the Edit Profile button.

How can I update my email/PayPal info/password?

Click the Edit Profile button to update your physical address, email and PayPal addresses, change your password, or close your account. Be sure to click the corresponding "Submit," "Change," or "Close" button to apply any changes you make.

Getting to Work

How do jobs work?

You pick an assignment from the Available Jobs list, and open it in preview mode. If you want to work on it, you click the Work on This button to assign it to yourself. After completing and reviewing the work, you submit it to us.

If you change your mind or can't do the work for any reason, you may Return the assignment. All work has a time limit and must be completed or returned before the deadline, or your badge score will be reduced.

Once submitted, most work is then graded by other freelancers and/or CastingWords staff. If it's up to snuff, we approve the job and pay you. This can take a while, especially when you are new, because newbies' assignments go through more review and editing processes.

Certain jobs are bonus-based. On these, any passing grade receives the base rate of pay, and then a bonus is applied depending on the grade you receive. The minimum passing grade will receive the base rate only, while the highest possible grade receives a total of up to three times the base pay.

Jobs may receive one or more preliminary grades, but it is the Approval grade that is used to calculate your bonus, counts toward your track record, and may also cause your badge level to rise or fall.

What kinds of jobs are there?

We currently have a variety of jobs, including: transcription, improving and editing transcripts, determining audio quality, grading transcripts and edits, and approving transcripts and edits. Some assignments require higher badge levels than others.

How can I tell which jobs I can accept?

When you look at the Available Jobs list, you can use the "All Jobs" and "Available Jobs" links (under the search box near the top of the page) to switch between showing the full list and only those jobs you are qualified to accept.

There is not always work available at every level, but new assignments are posted automatically when orders come in, so check back frequently.

Why aren't there any jobs for me?

There are two possible reasons:

  1. There may not be any work available at your level at the moment. Weekends, US holidays, and the US summer months can see fewer orders coming in, meaning that there may be fewer jobs posted, and more competition for the ones that do come out.

  2. If you have done some work and had an assignment rejected, gotten low grades, or let one or more jobs expire, it may be that your badge score has fallen below the level required to do any work at all. See the "What if I lose my badge?" entry for more information.

I'm ready to try my first assignment. What do I do?

  1. Go to the Available Jobs tab, then click the Available Jobs filter below the search box to view the list of jobs that you're qualified to accept.

  2. Choose a job and click the title to open it. After closing the preview warning message, you can view the job and listen to the audio to decide whether you want to work on it. It's a good idea to stick to short jobs (1-3 minutes) and clear audio for your first few assignments.

  3. When you find one you want, click the orange Work On This button at the top of the page. Do not work on a job without accepting it!

  4. Click on the Instructions tab and read the instructions.

  5. Click on the Transcription Job tab, read the Notes from customer and/or CastingWords section and familiarize yourself with the page.

  6. You can either play the audio right in the player on the assignment page, or download it and play it on your computer. See the next question for download instructions.

  7. We strongly recommend that you do your typing in an environment that will allow you to save as you go, such as MS Word, Pages, Google Docs, Notes, Notepad, TextEdit, etc. You can always return to the assignment page if you lose power or close your browser, but your work will not be saved if that happens.

  8. Once you've transcribed the audio, paste your text into the Transcribe (or Transcribe Verbatim) field.

  9. Use the tools on the assignment page to double check your work. If you make any changes after pasting the work into the box, click the Refresh Stats button to update the spellcheck and other tools.

  10. When you are satisfied with your work, click the View & Submit tab to see your transcription in its final format. Review it one more time and type any relevant comments into the Comments field. It's always a good idea to leave comments about anything you were unsure of, confirm that you have researched proper names, etc.

  11. Before you click Submit Job, please look over the spellcheck & statistics boxes on the Transcribe tab one last time, to make sure any flagged words are spelled correctly, and that all speaker labels are correct. Make any needed changes, review again, and submit.

How can I download the audio?

While you can use the player right on the job page, many workers like to download the file and use a player that provides more options and controls, such as Express Scribe, iTunes, QuickTime, Windows Media Player, VLC, MPlayerX, etc.

To download, right-click the Get Audio link to bring up your browser's context menu, then choose Save As or Save Link As. Once downloaded, you can open the file in the player of your choice.

How much time do I have to complete the job?

The time allotted for each assignment is shown (in hh:mm) at the top of the Preview screen. Once the job is assigned to you, that becomes a live countdown clock showing the time remaining. You can also check your My Jobs tab to see the time remaining on all the jobs currently assigned to you.

You must either submit or return the assignment within the allotted time. If you let a job expire, you will lose a badge point.

This isn't working out. Can I return the assignment?

You can return any assignment, at any time, for any reason, as long as you don't let it expire.

Click the Return Job button at the top of the assignment page to open the drop-down, then select the button that best matches your reason for returning the job. All reasons are valid; we just like to keep track. For example, if a job is returned multiple times because of poor audio, we want to know about it.

The one caveat is for workers at the Expedited level, since those are our most time-sensitive jobs. You can still return Expedited assignments, and there is no penalty for doing so, but you are expected to do so in a timely manner so someone else can get to work on it.

I need a little more time. Can I get an extension?

Extensions are not generally available to beginners, but once you have some experience you may begin to see Request an Extension as one of the options in the drop-down under the Return Job button.

If the option is there, clicking it will add more time to your assignment deadline. If it is not there, then no extension is available to you on that job and you will need to either submit or return the assignment before the deadline.

Extensions are meant to be used to get you out of a tight spot -- maybe a job turned out to be more time consuming than expected, or something came up and you were interrupted for a while. Extensions are not intended to be used routinely.

I speak _. Is there any work in my language?

Most of our work is in English, but we do sometimes have assignments available in other languages, primarily French and Spanish.

If you speak a language other than English and would like to be able to work on jobs in your language, click on the Request Language Badge link under the badge icons on your Dashboard, and select the appropriate language, if it is listed.

Please note that in addition to having the corresponding language badge, you must also have the Transcriber or Editor badge level required in order to work on any given non-English job.

Badges

How do badges work?

You will automatically receive the New Transcriber, New Editor, and New Grader badges when you pass the test and we activate your account. You'll get the Beginner badge after your first approved assignment, and a Working Hard badge after completing 10 assignments.

As you submit assignments, your badge levels will rise or fall depending on the quality and accuracy of your work. Good work will eventually earn you higher badges, which will allow you to access more assignments and higher pay rates.

How can I earn more badges?

Consistently good grades are the key!

Higher level badges give you access to more time-sensitive work, so doing consistently good work is the most important factor in advancing to higher levels.

We need to know not only that you can turn in great work, but that you do so reliably.

Is it possible to lose a badge?

Yes. In most cases, having an assignment rejected will cost you a badge. Low grades and letting jobs expire can also result in losing badges.

What do I do if I lose a badge?

Low grades, rejected assignments, and letting jobs expire can all cause you to lose a badge. As long as you still have the New Transcriber or New Editor badge, you can continue doing assignments in that category, and hopefully work your way back up by getting consistently good grades.

If you lose all your badges in a given cateogry, you will no longer be able to work on jobs of that type. If you want to continue working, you will need to email Support to ask about getting a second chance.

If you're just working through a learning curve as you get used to our style and format requirements, we may agree to restore your badge so you can try again, or let you re-take the sign-up test.

However, your work must meet certain basic standards and demonstrate a good-faith effort to follow our guidelines, or the badge will not be restored.

How many badges can I get?

There are two initial badges that you earn simply by doing some assignments and having them approved when you first sign up. Then there are five merit-based badges (New, Senior, Expert, Master, and Perfect) in each of the three main categories, and a special "Trifecta" badge if you reach the top level in all three.

Transcriber Badges:
PERFECT_TRANSCRIBER MASTER_TRANSCRIBER EXPERT_TRANSCRIBER SENIOR_TRANSCRIBER NEW_TRANSCRIBER

Editor Badges
PERFECT_EDITOR MASTER_EDITOR EXPERT_EDITOR SENIOR_EDITOR NEW_EDITOR

Grader Badges
PERFECT_GRADER MASTER_GRADER EXPERT_GRADER SENIOR_GRADER NEW_GRADER

Other Badges
HARD_WORKER BEGINNER TRIFECTA

If you are fluent in a language besides English, you can also request a language badge, which will give you access to assignments in the corresponding language, provided your normal Transcription or Editing badge also meets the requirements of the assignment.

Grades and Feedback

What does my grade mean?

See the Grading Guidelines for information about the types of issues that may be present in assignments that receive a particular grade.

Why does my transcription job have more than one grade?

A transcription assignment may have several suggested grades from different sources, but it will have only one final grade. The final grade is the one that counts toward your overall track record and is used to calculate your pay for that assignment.

Workers of different skill levels can provide feedback and suggested grades, while final grades are issued only by highly experienced graders, CW staff, or the auto approval system.

When you are new, we often put your assignments out for several "Review and Grade a Transcript" jobs, so you can get feedback from different perspectives.

Your work may also go through an "Improve a Transcript" job, where it will not only get more feedback and another suggested grade, it will also be individually edited before being combined with the other Transcript Chunks into a complete transcript that then goes for its final edit.

Click the All feedback ▸ link on your Dashboard, then click an individual assignment to see the feedback for that assignment. You can see any preliminary feedback you've received so far, even if the assignment does not yet have its final grade.

If it has received a preliminary or final edit, you can see what changes were made at each of those stages. The First Edit can be useful, but remember things may be changed again (or changed back) in the Final Edit, which is the version that is actually sent to the customer.

Do I have to get certain grades to remain in good standing?

Most workers get a few low grades at first; that's normal! There is a lot to learn, and nobody gets everything right, right away.

However, you will want to review your feedback, check the final edits of your assignments (when they become available) and figure out what you need to work on in order to earn higher grades so you can begin to earn more money and work toward higher badge levels and access to higher-paying assignments.

Your track record also affects your future grades. Consistent grades have a stabilizing effect, so if you get lower grades for a long period of time, it may be harder to break into higher ones on assignments where the auto grading system is involved.

Similarly, if you have a job rejected or downgraded and lose your badge, you may be less likely to get a second chance if you have been working for a while but your grades have remained low.

Of course the reverse is also true; you are less likely to get low grades if you have a history of high ones, and if you do lose badge points due to a low grade, expired job, or rejected assignment, the system is likely to bump you back up quickly if you have a strong track record.

How long does it take for a job to be approved?

Approvals can take anywhere from a few seconds to a maximum of 30 days.

If you are new, your work goes through more grading and approval processes, and may receive a preliminary edit as well, so the whole thing takes a bit longer. A week or so is common, and longer than that is still normal.

You may already have some feedback, though. From your Dashboard, click on the All Feedback link, then on the assignment number of one of your jobs. You may have suggested grades and some initial feedback, even for assignments that are still waiting on final approval.

Can I see what changes the editor made?

Yes, and it's a great way to learn more about our style and format! When it becomes available, you will find a link to the final edit on each assignment's feedback page. If your work received a preliminary edit before the final approval, you can see that too.

Pay close attention to what is changed, especially where inaccuracies have been corrected, but remember that not every change an editor makes necessarily means you did something wrong.

The editor is taking transcript chunks completed by many different workers and creating a single, cohesive document. The editor removes overlap (usually 15 seconds at the beginning and end of each TC), and may remove or restore filler words, change punctuation and paragraph breaks, and update speaker labels for the sake of consistency among the different sections.

Why did the editor replace a word with the same word?

That generally means that the editor changed the punctuation, paragraph break, or spacing adjacent to that word.

My assignment was rejected. Does that mean I just gave you my work for free?

No. If your assignment is rejected, that means in the approver's judgment it would cost us more to fix it up than to get it redone. The work is discarded and the assignment is sent back out immediately to be redone. If you were not paid, we did not use your submission.

See the Grading Guidelines for more info on what constitutes a passing or failing grade.

My grade is unfair! What can I do?

You can request a grade review by clicking "Disagree with this grade?" on the assignment's feedback page and filling out the form to explain your objection or ask for clarification. Try to be brief but clear.

There is no need to quote the Style Guide or Grading Guidelines in your review request; the approvers and reviewers are already familiar with these documents, and can refer to them if needed.

Your work will be reviewed on its own merits (accuracy and adherence to CW guidelines). The fact that an editor did or did not make changes doesn't factor into the grade your work deserves.

The reviewer can raise, lower, or maintain your grade. If the grade is increased, you will automatically receive the additional bonus pay (if applicable). We do not currently dock your pay if the grade is reduced. In either case, the new grade is the one that will count toward your track record.

The grade review will not restore badge points that were gained or lost in conjunction with the assignment.

What is Auto Approval and why does it keep giving me 8s??

The whole purpose of the tiered badge setup is to allow the system to identify workers who turn in consistently top-quality work, so they can be trusted to handle more time-sensitive jobs, with less supervision.

It takes a while to reach the top tier, and that's by design.

One sign that you're getting there is that your work will begin to be auto-approved with a grade of 8. This means that your work has been consistent enough that the system is beginning to trust that it will stay that way.

You will get auto-8s for quite a while, while the system verifies that the quality is consistent and your assignments aren't being downgraded at the edit stage. Eventually, if the quality is there, you'll start getting auto-9s.

Troubleshooting

My assignment expired before the deadline!

If a job expires before it should (or shows as expired as soon as you accept it), check your computer's time and date settings. In addition to showing the correct local time of day, your computer must be set to the time zone where you are physically located.

This setting may be incorrect if you get a new computer, or move or travel to a different time zone. It can also be affected by a power surge or power outage if your CMOS battery is beginning to fail.

I submitted the wrong/blank/incomplete text, help!

Email Support as soon as you discover the problem. If you have the correct text, include it as an attachment in Word or TXT format so we can update the job with the right material.

If you don't have the right text, you still need to let us know as soon as possible so we can get the job back out for retranscription and prevent incomplete or incorrect text from moving on to the edit stage.

My computer crashed/power went out/Internet died and my job is about to expire!

If you can, log into your account using a different device so you can return the assignment before it expires. If you can't log in but can send email, contact Support to ask us to return the job on your behalf. Be sure to email from the address associated with your account, so we can find you in the system.

If you can't do either of those things and the job expires, let us know when you're back online, and we will restore the point(s) you lost due to technical difficulties.

Can I get a job back after I return it or it expires?

Assignments that expire or are returned go back out into the Available Jobs list immediately so someone else can get to work on them. If you find the job listed, you may or may not be able to take it again.

Other Questions

What do the abbreviations mean?

AF means Audio File
TC means Transcript Chunk
HIT is a leftover term from when we posted all our work on another platform. It refers to what we now call a job or assignment.

Can I communicate with other freelancers?

Our Facebook group is a great place to ask and answer questions, and learn from other workers. When you request to join the group, an admin will send you a Facebook message asking for your email address, to verify that you are a CW worker. Once you have provided that, we'll add you to the group.

Remember that all the material you handle is confidential. Never post or share the names of people or companies, quotes or information from transcripts, or any other content on our Facebook group or anywhere else.

Do the customers see workers' names?

Not currently, but we do eventually plan to show customers the team behind any given transcript, and allow them to request certain workers (if those workers are available).

Where's the small print?

Click here for the Terms of Service, Independent Contractor Agreement, and Privacy Policy.

Contact Us

All support is provided by email. Be sure to email us from the address associated with your account, so we can look you up.

If you have a question about a specific assignment, include the Assignment number, TC number, or AF number so we can look it up. We cannot look up your work based on a title or general description of the content.

Support@castingwords.com