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NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.

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Newer web-based Industry and Occupation (I&O) coding tool: NIOSH Industry & Occupation Computerized Coding System (NIOCCS)

1.3 Entering Vital Records Data Into the SOIC System

The SOIC System offers two principal ways to code I&O literals. The program can be used as a data entry system. This means you can start up the program with an empty data table, and enter data from paper copies of vital records. The program can also code vital records data tables that are already available electronically, provided that the data can be converted into the right format.

As we explain in detail later in this manual, when you enter the SOIC System, your computer's screen is mostly taken up by the Data Entry Form. This form is based on the U.S. Standard Certificate of Death. The form contains a series of "fields," or blank spaces where you can fill in available information. The fields are in the same order as the items on the U.S. Standard Certificate of Death. Each screen of information displayed by the SOIC System is a single record, that is, a form for a single individual case. You can issue commands to the program that allow you to page through the records, just as you would page through a stack of paper documents. The SOIC System, therefore, allows you to immediately begin entering data from paper records as soon as you enter the program.

As we also explain later in the manual, you can import an existing text data file into the SOIC System. You can do this using the program's Import option- see Section 2.4.7, "The Import Option," for details. The SOIC System can also directly use data tables in formats employed by popular database management systems, including Access, dBASE, and FoxPro. These files do not need to be imported. (You can import them, however, and this is encouraged.)

Several steps need to be taken in advance if you wish to import data into the program, or use data prepared by a database management system. First, the data file must exist in a machine readable format. Usually, this means the file is stored on magnetic media such as magnetic tape, a hard disk, or a floppy disk. There must be a way to transfer the file from its current location to your computer system. Network connections and floppy disks are two of the most common methods of transferring files, but others are possible, including remote transmissions using a modem.

For a complete description of the file formats supported by the SOIC System, see Appendix B, "SOIC System Data File Formats."

Once you have entered data into the SOIC System, either by typing in data from paper records or by using data that is already in an electronic format, you can code the records using the 1990 coding scheme. You can code all the industry and occupation titles in the table at once, or code them record by record. You can edit the coded records, and manually code any literals that the program is unable to handle by itself. You can divide coded and uncoded records into two separate tables, for convenience in handling the uncoded records. You can export coded or uncoded data to a text file for use in other software programs. We explain these and other procedures throughout the rest of this manual.