Desktop User Guides > Professional > Interview scripting > Writing interview scripts > Questions and responses > Special responses > Other Specify
Other Specify
“Other” is a general purpose response that appears in many categorical response lists to collect responses other than those specifically mentioned in the response list. Sometimes you will only want to know that the respondent used some other product or traveled by some other form of transport, whereas on other occasions you will want to know exactly what other product or mode of transport was used. In the latter case, the easiest way to obtain this “other” information is to include an Other Specify response in the response list. This displays a response labeled Other with a box in which the respondent can type what Other refers to.
To define an Other Specify response, put the following line in the response list. The usual place is at the end of the list, but before any other special responses.
ResponseName "ResponseText" other [fix] [exclusive]
For example:
Reason "What was the reason that you ate out then?"
categorical [1..]
Anniversary "Wedding anniversary",
FamilyEvent "Some other family celebration",
TimeWithFriends "To spend time with friends",
Convenience "Convenience / It's just something I/we do",
OtherReason "Some other reason" other
Notice the response name that the example uses for Other Specify: from this name it is immediately obvious which question the other response belongs to. Although this is not a requirement and it might be quicker and easier simply to call all such responses Other, it is good practice to use unique names for responses that are different, even if their response texts are the same. This is particularly the case with response lists that contain subheadings.
In the following example, there is one Other Specify response in each subsection of the response list. The two responses are different because one refers to positive impressions and the other refers to negative impressions, so it makes sense to give them different response names.
OrganicFood "There is an increasing interest in organically
    produced food. What are your thoughts about this?"
    categorical [1..]
AgainstOrganicFood "Thoughts against"
Expensive "It's too expensive",
NotGoodLandUse "It doesn't make the best use of the land",
NotProven "There's no proof it's better than other food",
LaborIntensive "It's too labor intensive",
OtherNegative "Other thoughts against" other
ForOrganicFood "Thoughts for"
GoodForYou "It's good for you",
BuyItMyself "I buy organic food whenever I can",
GoodForLand "It's better for land",
GoodforWildlife "It's better for wildlife",
OtherPositive "Other thoughts for" other
NoThoughts "I have no opinions about organic food" exclusive
mrScriptMetadata accepts a dash or hyphen (–) as the response name for special responses, and will generate a response whose name matches the special response keyword (“other” in this instance). Although this is acceptable scriptwriting, we recommend that you choose unique names for all categorical responses, including special responses.
Selecting the Other radio button or check box
The interviewing program requires respondents to select the Other option or check box if they enter text in the box. It does not matter which order the respondents do this in as long as they do both things. Many respondents type in the box and forget to select the Other option. If you are happy for them to do this, you can make this the default for the interview by placing the following statement in the routing section of the script:
IOM.AutoSelectOther = True
This makes the interviewing program select the Other option automatically whenever a respondent types into an Other box.
See also
Special responses