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Glossary and references

Glossary

Residual categories

Not elsewhere classified (nec)

A ‘not elsewhere classified’ (nec) category contains responses that are infrequent or unanticipated.

Don’t know

Use of this category is discretionary. The use of a category capturing don't know responses is most applicable to household surveys where don't know may be a legitimate response to certain questions.

Refused to answer

This category is only used when it is known that the respondent has purposefully chosen not to respond to the question. Use of this residual category in processing is optional. Its use is most applicable in face–to–face or telephone interviews, but may be used in self–completed questionnaires if the respondent has clearly indicated they refuse or object to answering the question.

Response unidentifiable

This category is used when there is a response given, but:

  1. the response is illegible
  2. it is unclear what the meaning or intent of the response is — this most commonly occurs when the response being classified contains insufficient detail, is ambiguous or is vague
  3. the response is contradictory, for example, both the yes and no tick boxes have been ticked
  4. the response is clear and seemingly within the scope of the classification but cannot be coded because no suitable option (particularly other residual category options such as not elsewhere classified or not further defined) exists in the classification or codefile.
Response outside scope

This category is used for responses that are positively identified (that is, the meaning and the intent are clear) but which clearly fall outside the scope of the classification/topic as defined in the standard.

Not stated

This category is only used where a respondent has not given any response to the question asked, that is, it is solely for non–response.

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