Editing as a processing operation

The process of examining the collected raw data for the purpose of detecting errors and omissions and also to correct them when possible is known as editing of data. Editing basically involves a thorough scrutiny of the completed questionnaire or schedules that have been already thoroughly examined. Editing fulfils the purpose of keeping data accurate, consistent with other facts that have been gathered, whether they have been uniformly entered, are completed and well organised and arranged to facilitate tabulation and coding.

Field editing is done to review the report forms by the investigator to complete what the latter has written in intelligible form during the time of when the respondents’ response was recorded. This is helpful as individual style of writing differs from person to person.

Central editing happens when all the schedules and forms have been completed and reach the office. This implies that all the complete forms get a thorough editing by a single editor involved in a small study and could be done by a group or team when large number is involved.

Editors must consider the following points:

  • They should be familiar with instructions given to the interviewers
  • Only a single line should be drawn for the purpose of striking off so that it remains legible.
  • Entries in the form must be made in distinctive colour that too in standardised form.
  • Editors’ initials with the date of editing should be placed on all the completed forms or schedules.

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