500000 DATA CODES

Category Description

2003+: Data codes are used when other codes, including 500000 (n.e.c.) codes are not applicable, when an interviewer has made an error, or when an activity is not codeable. They include codes that may be assigned when the respondent can't remember or refuses to describe an activity, or when the interviewer has recorded insufficient or incorrect information.

Activity Coding Rules

General rule: Use data codes when other lexicon codes, including 500000 (n.e.c.) codes, are not applicable or when an activity is not codeable. For example, if the respondent reports "I can't remember what I did for this time," do not try to code to the previous or following activity. Code as Data Codes/Unable to Code/Gap or can't remember (500106).

Insufficient detail in verbatim

2003: Verbatim lacks sufficient information about an activity. This could be because the interviewer did not probe an activity on the probe list or an obviously vague activity description like "dithering around." This code should also be used for an activity that should not have been recorded (such as "walked downstairs to basement").

2004-2006: Verbatim lacks sufficient information about an activity. This could be because the interviewer did not probe an activity on the probe list or an obviously vague activity description like "dithering around." This code should also be used when the verbatim describes another person's activities (not the respondent's) (e.g. "sister came over"). (Updated: February 2004)

2007+: Verbatim lacks sufficient information about an activity. This could be because the interviewer did not probe an activity on the probe list or because of an obviously vague activity description like "dithering around." This code should also be used when the verbatim describes another person's activities (not the respondent's) (e.g. "sister came over").

Rules for assigning data code 500101:

1. Activities that require probing. Assign data code 500101 to activities on the required probe list that do not contain a purpose such as reading, writing, unspecified computer use, attending class, and so forth. These cannot be coded unless there is a purpose.

2. Vague or ambiguous activities. Assign data code 500101 to activities that are too vague or ambiguous and cannot be coded.

3. Activities describing another person's activities. Assign data code 500101 to activities describing another person's activities and not those of the respondent.

4. Activities with "unspecified." Do NOT assign data code 500101 to a vague activity or an activity lacking a purpose if the word "unspecified" is listed next to the activity. Under this circumstance, the interviewer did probe for clarity but received no additional clarification from the respondent. Code the activity using one of the following rules:

a. Code the activity using "personal interest" as the purpose for activities on the required probe list. For example, if the activity is "reading unspecified," code reading as Socializing, Relaxing, and Leisure/Relaxing and Leisure/Reading for personal interest (120312). If the activity is "computer use unspecified," code computer use as Socializing, Relaxing, and Leisure/Relaxing and Leisure/Computer use for leisure (excluding games) (120308).

b. Code the activity to the first- or second-tier level, if possible. For example, "working around the house (unspecified)" can be coded as Household Activities/Household Activities, n.e.c./Household activities, n.e.c. (029999), even though there is no indication of what sort of "work around the house" was being done. (Example changed January 2007).

c. Code the activity as data code Unable to code activity at 1st tier (500107) if activity is just too vague and does not fit into any major tier category. For example, "dithering around, unspecified" is coded as 500107 since the definition of dithering is unclear.

d. If the activity is "getting ready," "preparing for," "dropping off," or "picking up" then code it as you would had the activity duration been 30 minutes or less.

5. Certain single activities that last longer than 30 minutes. Activity verbatims with the words "getting ready," "preparing for," "dropping off," and "picking up" are given the data code 500101 if the activity lasts longer than 30 minutes. Exception: If the verbatim contains the word "unspecified" in parentheses, then code the activity the same way that you would if its duration was 30 minutes or less. (Added: January 2007)

Recorded activity using incorrect words

2003: Verbatim lacks clarity and does not provide enough detail to code. Verbatim includes words such as "going," "went," "at," or "in" to describe an activity (e.g. "going shopping," "went to the bank," "at church"). Interviewers should use terms such as "shopping," "driving to the bank," or "attending church service" to clarify the nature of the activity.

2004+: This data code will no longer be used as of January 2004. (Updated: February 2004)

Missing travel or destination

2003+: An activity or travel episode is obviously missing. This usually occurs when an interviewer records travel to and from a location with no intervening activity (e.g. "driving to the store," then "driving home"). It may also occur when an interviewer records consecutive activities with different WHERE codes (e.g. "bought groceries" at grocery store, then "fixed dinner" at home) with no intervening travel episode. When assigning this data code for travel to/from somewhere with a missing activity, assign the "missing activity" data code to both travel episodes. Exception: Sometimes WHERE codes may change while the actual location of two consecutive activities remains the same, so an intervening travel episode is not necessary. For example, if "working in the school office" has a workplace WHERE code, but the next activity "taking class (degree)" has a school WHERE code, check coder notes to see if both activities took place at the same address or building before assigning a data code.

2007+: An activity or travel episode is obviously missing. This usually occurs when an interviewer records travel to and from a location with no intervening activity (e.g. "driving to the store," then "driving home"). It may also occur when an interviewer records consecutive activities with different WHERE codes (e.g. "bought groceries" at grocery store, then "fixed dinner" at home) with no intervening travel episode. Exception: Sometimes WHERE codes may change while the actual location of two consecutive activities remains the same, so an intervening travel episode is not necessary. For example, if "working in the school office" has a workplace WHERE code, but the next activity "taking class (degree)" has a school WHERE code, check coder notes to see if both activities took place at the same address or building before assigning a data code. (Updated: January 2007)

Recorded simultaneous activities incorrectly

2003+: A slash mark is not used to separate simultaneous activities, or a slash mark is used incorrectly to indicate additional detail instead of a secondary activity.
2012+: This data code will no longer be used as of February 2012.

Unable to code activity at 1st tier

2003: An activity clearly does not fall into any major tier category. "Cleaned airport hangar" is an example of such an activity.

2004+: An activity clearly does not fall into any major tier category. "Cleaned airport hangar" is an example of such an activity. This code should also be used when travel within a house, yard, or building (such as "walked downstairs to basement") has been recorded. (Updated: February 2004)