Special Issue: The Use of Open-ended Questions in Surveys
Guest editors: Cornelia E. Neuert, Katharina Meitinger, Dorothée Behr and Matthias Schonlau
This first issue of 2021 is a Special Issue on the use of open-ended questions in surveys. It contains four research reports. The issue starts with an editorial by the guest editors Cornelia E. Neuert (GESIS), Katharina Meitinger (Utrecht University), Dorothée Behr (GESIS) and Matthias Schonlau (University of Waterloo). The paper by Malte Luebker analyzes the effect of adding an open-ended probe on survey break-off and item non-response, and the meaningfulness of the answers in response to the probe. The paper by Alice Barth and Andreas Schmitz examines the combined effects of respondents and interviewers on response quality in open-ended questions. The paper by Grace Kelly, Martina McKnight, and Dirk Schubotz analyzes comments of 16-year-old respondents of the longitudinal Young Life and Times (YLT) survey on community relations in Northern Ireland. Finally, the paper by Zhoushanyue He and Matthias Schonlau investigates differences in how human coders and automated coders (statistical/ machine learning algorithms) code open-ended questions. Overall, this special issue of methods, data, analyses provides various important contributions demonstrating the various usages of open-ended questions.