We coded the most important issue open-ended responses for waves 1-13 manually, albeit supported by machine learning. This process involves a computer assisted coding approach through the codething platform. The software makes recommendations about the most likely categories that responses fall into, but a human coder selects and verifies every entry. In total, 355,000 open-ended responses were coded into categories.
The relevant variables can be found with the stems mii_cat and small_mii_cat. These replace the automated codings with the miilabel, which will be phased out in future data releases. As with previous releases, we strongly recommend that users verify that the open-ended responses match their interpretation of a category, especially when relying on smaller categories in the data.