Online dissemination of academic research presents a host of opportunities and challenges to those using audio and video data files. When working with spoken data, the transcription process converts the data into a written format that is both easier to manage and easier to disseminate. Yet with the multimodal potential of online publication, transcripts may no longer need to be the default option for data presentation. This article reviews the decisions that researchers have to make when converting their spoken and visual data into written transcripts and addresses the possibility of retaining the data in their original audio and video formats. The author discusses the benefits, drawbacks, and challenges this creates for the academic community.