The main theme of this document concerns the methods for automatic or semi-automatic (interactive) coding of answers to open questions. These are short descriptions (typically less than 10 words) in a respondent's own words formulated about the person's occupation, education followed, work performed, goods and services produced, etc. The code that is assigned to a description (if successful) originates from a classification. The classification itself is too complicated for respondents to directly search it for an answer. It is easier to let the respondent answer in his or her own words, and then to try to interpret this answer. Nowadays, this interpretation usually employs a computer if the material is delivered electronically, as we will assume. In the past, this coding was done completely ‘manually’. That manual coding process is expensive, slow and non-transparent. Nowadays, the goal is to have the bulk of the coding work done by computer running special coding software. The remaining ‘difficult cases’ are then resolved more or less ‘manually’ as in the past.
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