Field coding involves the use by an in-person or telephone interviewer of a standardized listing of response options to categorize open-ended responses given by respondents to questions that provide no specific response options to the respondent. This approach differs from the administration of a closed-ended question, where the response options are read to the respondent, and differs from the administration of open-ended questions, where the response is typically recorded verbatim.

With field coding, an interviewer typically asks the respondent an open-ended question and waits for a response. As the respondent replies, the interviewer records the information into one or more of the predetermined response options. Should the respondent give an answer that is not on the interviewer's list of response options, the interviewer either must interpret ...

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