Make your codebook

May 10th, 2006 andris

This example is based on a market research project. In this project a questionnaire went out and we got a lot of data back from our respondents. To have a guideline when filling in your data, using a codebook is very handy. In fact, it is essential if someone else is filling in data for you. Below you can find an explanation on how to make this codebook.

1. Make a copy of your questionnaire document, and name it e.g. codebook.doc (a little obvious, I know).
2. Change the question numbers into variable names. The most logical thing to do is to give question 1 the variable name q1, question 2 the variable name q2, etc. Codebook

3. Now start coding the answer categories. If your question has only one possible answer, than you can code the first answer as 1, the second as 2. Codebook 2

4. If your question has multiple possible answers, than you should take a different approach. The most handy one is the following. For each possible answer, you make a new variable. For example, the first possible answer for question 11, you give the variable 11a. The second possible answer, give it variable 11b, etc. Codebook multiple choice

After you have done this, you can start define your variables in SPSS.

Files used for this example: example data sheet SPSS file example questionnaire

Entry Filed under: 0. SPSS, where to start,Questions and answers


  • 1. sandy  |  April 7th, 2008 at 12:25 am

    what is a codebook? how i can make my own

  • 2. Ahmed  |  June 4th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    But how to code the matrix question? such as questions 6 & 7 in example questionnaire


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