Ethnography Coding Call April 2 2020

A fantastic, engaging call today! We welcome @SZdenek to the team, who came with many generative questions that spurred some great conversation.

Present: @Jan @Richard @Jirka_Kocian @supernova – please feel free to add anything I’ve missed!

Take-homes from the call:

  1. Define all codes, no matter how obvious they seem, so we can be sure that we are using the same words in the same way.
  2. Break up longer/highly specific compound codes into 2 different ones, as long as each individual code carries semantic meaning and isn’t too vague.

We decided that assigning codes in two different languages to the same block of text (native language and English translation) instead of doing the slash system is very preferable, so that co-occurrences in English and English translations across the languages can display (and so we don’t just have isolated islands of languages). This will optimally be supported by a front-end function that can assign both to the same text at the same time. Ideally, when typing in codes in English, the box will display code suggestions from across the POPREBEL projects (so, by any other POPREBEL ethnographer, instead of only individual’s code or previous system where all codes from all projects were suggested). Depending on how the dual-code function works, suggestions in the native language should ideally include all codes that have been assigned in the project in that language. @matthias

There are 2 major things to focus on when coding using English translations/English:

  1. Read others’ codebooks and make note of when they are using a different code in the same way as one of yours – then make a note suggesting that we merge the codes.
  2. Read others’ codebooks and make a note of when they are using the same code in a different way – make a note that we should fork the codes.

We had a long discussion about hierarchies. Conclusions:

  1. Make sure that all codes carry meaning on their own and do not rely on a hierarchical representation (e.g. the presence of the parent code) to carry meaning. Both parent and child codes should carry clear semantic meaning on their own.
  2. Use hierarchies to organise codes in the codebook. Don’t worry about inputting them into the backend right away, but continue to use them to structure and make the codebook clear. Feel free to use a separate tab in the codebook to make note of hierarchies.

@matthias, we are wondering if it is possible to export the hierarchies (list of parent and child codes) into excel or CSV format (I think @Jirka_Kocian may have more to add here).

Suggestion for next call: Thursday April 30, 3pm Brussels time. Can everyone make this?

1 Like

Thursday April 30, 3pm Brussels time is in the diary!

1 Like

Date and time is fine, as for the hierarchy export (@matthias), I do believe it would be quite enough to have an export somehow representing parent-child relationship by indentations to mimick the “Codes” page.


Can be done, yes. This is now managed as Github issue #136. I think I understood it quite well from you and @Jirka_Kocian but please have a look there and shout if it’s not what you want. Specifically, I propose exporting to HTML and not to Excel or CSV. If your codebook is a Google Docs document eventually, that seems to make more sense, no? Or do you indeed manage it in some kind of spreadsheet?

Now managed in Github issue #137. Though we’ll first make it fast to add translations in the backend (#121) and then see if you like that. (Which would be great as that’s conceptually cleaner: coding and translating code names are two different tasks, and the Annotator.js software component we use is not made for mixing them.)

Will be implemented this way via Github issue #106.

Yes, it works. April 30, at 9:00 my time in my calendar. And many thanks @amelia for running a great meeting. I will study @matthias ideas in the next day or two. Many thanks for working on it. Stay safe. Yours, Jan

1 Like

Pinging everyone — there hasn’t been any motion on the Serbian or Polish codebooks, and @Jirka_Kocian has resolved my comments on his codebook and I his, but neither of us have received new comments from anyone else. It doesn’t look like we have much to talk about. Unless anyone has anything they want to raise, I suggest we postpone until more work has been done. I assume @Jan and @Richard are also busy with reporting. @Maja @supernova

That makes sense!

No problem with that, can fill the time with further revisions of the coding and coding itself.

1 Like

Dear All,

I think it is a good idea to postpone, at least a week. I have been indeed completely occupied with Fatigue and Poprebel reporting (and “fixing things”), but even more with working with my students and grading their work (the semester ends this week, actually today for me). Teaching online and attending to their various needs has been very time consuming.

I am talking to my Polish colleagues already about an additional Polish coder and will resume my own coding this weekend for sure. We need to “attack” and make up for the coding delays within the nexts few weeks.

Please everybody report back to Amelia or me if there are issues. These are enormously difficult times, but I am sure we can help each other and find solutions.

I am looking forward to talking to all of you soon. Stay safe,


And one more thing - for scheduling. Since my classes end today, from now on I will be much more flexible, but starting on May 18, I will teach long distance in Warsaw on some days at 11:30 here (so 17:30 in Brussels). Meeting at 8 or 9 am my time here (14 or 15 in Brussels) should always work for me. I will keep you informed about other changes in my schedule.



@amelia, @Jirka_Kocian, @supernova, @SZdenek, @Richard @matthias Dear All, I gather we have no date for the meeting yet. Could please work on that, as I need to set my schedules. I hope you are all well. Warm regards,


Hi @Jan,

There isn’t much use in having a meeting if no more coding has been done. I’m happy to set a date, but we need commitment from @Maja @supernova and you to have produced some material and interacted with @Jirka_Kocian and my codebooks (as well as each others’).

One thing we can all do in the meantime is either (in the backend) go through the codes and split them into English and mother tongue codes (replacing the slash function) or let us (@matthias) know if that’s not feasible, so we can write a script to do it for you.

To do this, just click on the view for an individual code and assign it both English and mother tongue definitions:


I’m happy to tentatively set a meeting date for May 28. That gives some time to code and interact with others’ codebooks.

Let’s say 9am Eastern US/ 2pm UK/ 3pm Brussels. If anyone can’t make, please suggest another time.

1 Like

Hi all (and particularly @Jirka_Kocian and @SZdenek for now) – I am encountering (unsurprisingly) many references to coronavirus. Just wanted to say that for now I am using the code “Covid-19” to refer to this. We should standardise — does anyone have a preference for what we call the virus? I have no attachment to this code and would be happy to change it if so.

Hello. I am ok with Covid19 or Covid-19. Though, I am not sure if this is the accurate name (is it Sars-Cov-2?), but it is the name most often used, also in Czechia.

1 Like

Hi. I think at that time I would have to accompany my daughter to her dancing lessons (the quarantine is over and kindergartens here in Czechia are supposed to be open from 25th May) that start 15:45. Would it be possible to reschedule the meeting to a bit earlier so I can be 15:15 at the kindergarten to pick her up (and walk her to the dancing lesson)? Let’s say 14:00-15:00 CET (13:00-14:00 GMT)? It would help a lot. Otherwise, I would have to be connected to the meeting only on my headphones while on the move. Take care, Zdenek

Dear @amelia,

Since we posted a question (more then a month ago) on how to split a code we received an answer that the option of splitting / copying code will be added, but we don’t see it yet. Maybe we are missing something, if so, please can we have some further instruction on how to do it? @matthias

This is important, because most of the comments in our codebook are related to splitting code.

Concerning the remark that “no more coding has been done” - we have to emphasize that we coded all the material that exists in serbian section of the platform. This raises question of what is happening with community management, since EdgeRyders took over this responsibility a year ago.

Can you please give us the clear instruction on weather we are supposed to also do the language splitting code, since it wasn’t clear weather this would be somehow done in another way.

Also, we went through other codebooks, but it is not completely clear to us what are we supposed to do? Do we just comment if we think that something can be coded in a more efficient or elegant way? Or do we link every code that we find in other codebooks that can be understood as the code with the same or similar meaning as the code in our codebook? If so, do we link it in both directions?

Hope you are all well.
Best regards,
Maja and Isidora

P.S. Just a reminder, we are both using this “Maja” account, because we don’t have the option of seeing each other’s codes in any other way while coding.

We are OK with this date and time.

See you all then.
Best regards,
Isidora and Maja

You can please both use your own account from now on. A few days ago, we added the feature that Open Ethnographer will propose all codes from the same ethnographic coding project if you configure it for that the following way:

  1. Go the Open Ethnographer interface.

  2. Click “User Settings → [your user] → Edit User Settings”.

  3. Under “Discourse tag”, select the tag applied to posts in your coding project, namely ethno-poprebel in your case.

  4. Click “Update User Settings”.

I have answered that in the original thread now.