extensive coding process, including multiple coders with significant expertise in the content.
C. Trend Analysis
Once all additional information had been added to the data set, we ana-
lyzed the data quantitatively in order to identify trends.
First, we calculated how common each data point value was for all requests. For example, after totaling the number of requests which were labeled with a particular government entity type value, we were able to view
how often each type of government entity submitted requests to the Network. We identified frequencies of values for all key data points in this
Requester’s entity type
Requester’s jurisdictional level
Requester’s state of origin
Next, we calculated frequencies of values for a smaller sub-set of re-
quests, and compared these frequencies to those for other sub-sets. For ex-
ample, we isolated requests by the jurisdictional level of the requester’s or-
ganization and then, for each sub-set of requests, we calculated the
frequencies of topic values. After doing so, we compared the topic values
for requests at each jurisdictional level to one another in an attempt to iden-
tify trends in the subject matter of requests based on whether the requesting
entity was a federal, state or local entity.
In this manner, we isolated and compared the data set in a number of
ways. The most common data point used as a basis to divide and compare
requests was jurisdictional level, however we also used a number of factors,
including geographic origin and entity type. The limited amount of data and
the specificity of several data points was a frequent limitation in our ability
to identify trends. Ultimately, we did identify several trends in requests
across jurisdictional, geographical and topical factors. The most notable of
the trends identified through these comparisons are summarized in the Results section.
The analysis yielded valuable information on potential trends among the
requests submitted to the Network by government entities. The study results
are presented in several parts: ( 1) information on the jurisdictional levels