Coding and Theming of Open-Ended Responses

Coding and Theming

Surveys typically contain two broad types of questions: open-ended and closed-ended. Closed-ended questions present a discrete set of responses from which to choose and are easily quantified and analyzed while open-ended questions allow the respondent to answer a question in his own words (verbatim). Open-ended responses are unstructured and often provide richer and more valued information than closed-ended questions.  They are an important source of insight since they can generate information that was not anticipated.

Despite their added value in terms of the research, they can be tedious to manage after the fieldwork has closed, because they usually have to be analysed manually, a time-consuming and expensive task especially if there are a large number to deal with.

Runestone Copenhagen © G Raisman
Deciphering the results

Manual coding of verbatim to open-ended questions usually involves some or all of the following tasks:

  • Reading through all the responses to familiarize oneself with the range of topics mentioned
  • Creating a list of major themes
  • Creating a codeframe (a list of anticipated categories with codes to use for analysis)
  • Reading each response and manually applying one or several codes for every text response

At RP Translate, we will use your existing codeframe either from previous waves or from your English survey, and apply this to your non-English responses.  If there is no pre-existing codeframe, we will create one for you based on one of your key languages, then establish interaction between all your coding teams to develop a truly cross-language codeframe which can be applied consistently across the full range of multilingual verbatim.  Where you need to theme and code, we will instruct your coding teams accordingly, so your verbatim responses will come back to you themed and sub-coded for speed of analysis.

RP Translate has extensive experience in multilingual coding and theming, handling in excess of 2 million responses year on year.  To achieve a higher quality of coding, we look to establish clear coding rules and achieve a common understanding of the coding frame across all the languages concerned, which allows us to monitor the level of agreement among coders and carry out inter-coder reliability checks.

Your dedicated specialist Project Manager at RP Translate will carry out final in-house checks to ensure absolute consistency and integrity of your final coded verbatim, and will be happy to give more in-depth appraisals of specific codes if required.

What you say: See our Coding Chinese Verbatim Case Study

This website uses Cookies. Cookies remember you so we can give you a better service online. No personal details are stored. You can read our policy here. To use the website as intended please...