Banding data files are entered using a mixture of three types of lines. Here is the procedure for encoding banding data sheets:
At the start of data entry for each new page,
place a page header
line, starting with an “
See Section 6.4, “Sheet header information”.
On most new-band sheets, the band number prefix
(first seven digits) is the same for all lines.
After the page header line, place a band
prefix line, starting with a
#” sign followed by the
prefix. This prefix is applied to any new-band lines
that follow. The new-band lines then need to carry
only the last two digits. If a new string starts up
on the same sheet, place a new band prefix line
before the records for the new string. See Section 6.5, “Band prefix line”.
Each line used in the body of the coding sheet is encoded as a single encounter record. Each line starts with an encounter code that specifies whether it is a new band, recap, destroyed band, etc.
When encoding data from a coding sheet, the author prefers to enter the data in a columnar format that echoes the coding sheet layout as closely as possible. The columns will be lined up vertically on the screen, which makes it easier to check for short or long fields. As a final check, an alignment check character must occur at a fixed position at the end of the line, to verify that the sum of the lengths of all the preceding fields is correct.
For the format of the various encounter lines, see Section 6.6, “Encounter lines”.
In order to conform to long-established practice, all letters in an input file may be entered as either uppercase or lowercase, but they will be treated as if they are uppercase. All letters written to the output file will be uppercase.