Set up open-end questions for easy recoding

Updated at July 17th, 2023

There are a couple of ways you can set up open-ends to easily recode responses from different questions or groups at once. In this article we describe two common cases for open-ends and which method you should use for each. We also show how to use our feature that simplifies creating hierarchical codeframes. 

Combine multiple open-end responses into a single distribution

Often times you might want to apply a common code frame to different questions or groups. For instance, when there are multiple open-end questions that belong under the same battery but you want to recode all responses together under one code frame use transform to condense (squish).

  • Choose to hide the children or show them. 
  • If heritable is set to true (under the Edit properties dialog ) or default all heritable attributes such as recode, format and showMissing that are set at the parent level will trickle down to the children.

This feature combines open-ends with multiple text boxes into the parent distribution which makes it possible to recode all responses under one codeframe and also easily pass down the recodes to the child level elements.

Use the field attribute to combine multiple open-end columns

Another common case we see are open-ends programmed such that there are multiple text boxes where respondents can enter answers to a particular question but you want to display all responses in one single distribution.  In this case, we recommend you combine the responses into one distribution using the field attribute instead of using children and transform to condense (squish). 

  • Specify a data column using the field attribute. Like the children attribute you can specify more than one data column as an array.
  • Since the field attribute is where Q7 draws its data we don't need to reference the columns as children.
  • Columns listed in the field attribute do not inherit any properties from the parent group.

Create hierarchical code frames 

For questions that you already coded you can further group the codes into broader categories by using the element attribute. This takes the final post-calculation value from element as the starting value for another element. 

This can be an effective way to create hierarchical codes, using the coded values from one element as the input to a higher level code frame.

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