Annex 3: Data validation
This annex provides details about the data validation process – i.e. the process of determining the total number of consultation responses.
Number of responses received
As noted in Chapter 2, the consultation received 61,328 submissions. Of these, 21,077 (34%) were standard campaign responses received through one of the organised campaigns, and a further 31,033 (51%) comprised signatures to a petition. The remaining 9,218 responses (15%) were either: (i) non-standard campaign responses, (ii) responses submitted directly to the Scottish Government by email or post, or (iii) responses submitted via the Scottish Government's online consultation hub. Together, these personalised non-standard campaign responses and individually drafted responses are referred to as 'substantive responses'. (See Table A3.1.)
Validation of responses
All non-standard campaign responses and all responses received by email or post were entered into a database together with the responses submitted via the Scottish Government's consultation hub. This database therefore initially contained 9,218 responses.
The 21,077 standard campaign responses were not entered into the database. However, the analysis takes into account the statements submitted through all the campaigns in relation to each of the consultation questions, and the number of campaign responses received have been reported on a question-by-question basis.
Comments received with petitions (n=8,375) were also not entered into the database. However, a separate analysis was undertaken to identify the main themes in these comments, and the findings of this analysis have been reported together with the other views expressed in relation to relevant questions.
Of the 9,218 responses initially entered into the database, 793 were removed for a variety of reasons:
- 85 were found to be entirely blank.
- 131 were identified as invalid. To be classed as 'valid', responses had to have the respondent's name (both a first name or first initial and a surname) and their contact details (an email address, a postal address, or a complete postcode). Any responses not including both the respondent's name and their contact details were removed from the database as invalid.
- 79 were found to be identical duplicate responses sent by the same (79) individuals. Duplicate responses generally occur when a respondent submits their response electronically via the consultation hub and also sends a copy by email or post. In these cases, one of the responses is retained and the other is removed.
- 2 responses initially submitted to the consultation were later withdrawn by the respondent.
- 1 was identified as correspondence not intended as a response to the consultation.
Table A3.1: Number of responses received
|Response type Submission route ||Standard campaign or other identical responses ||Substantive responses (including non-standard campaign responses) ||Total responses (n) |
|Campaign responses |
|Avaaz ||100 ||596 ||696 |
|Broad Alliance (postcards) ||946 ||384 ||1,330 |
|Friends of the Earth Scotland (online) ||15,088 ||1,284 ||16,362 |
|Friends of the Earth Scotland (postcards) ||4,574 ||9 ||4,583 |
|Greenpeace ||251 ||2,815 ||3,060 |
|Scottish Greens ||– ||1,129 ||1,122 |
|South Lanarkshire Against Unconventional Gas (SLAUG) ||118 ||1 ||119 |
|Sub-total, campaign responses ||21,077 ||6,218 ||27,295 |
|% of total 61,328 ||34% ||10% ||45% |
|Petition signatories |
|38 Degrees (includes 7,303 comments) ||21,326 ||– ||21,326 |
|Change.org (R Dunster) (includes 1,072 comments) ||5,174 ||– ||5,174 |
|Children's petition ||43 ||– ||43 |
|Our Forth ||185 ||– ||185 |
|Scotland Against Fracking ||4,305 ||– ||4,305 |
|Sub-total, petition signatories ||31,033 ||– ||31,033 |
|% of total 61,328 ||51% ||0% ||51% |
|Received through other routes |
|Email / post ||– ||129 ||129 |
|Scottish Government consultation hub* ||– ||2,871 ||2,871 |
|Sub-total, received through other routes ||– ||3,000 ||3,000 |
|% of total 61,326 ||0% ||5% ||5% |
|Total responses submitted ||52,110 ||9,218 ||61,328 |
|% of total 61,328 ||85% ||15% ||100% |
* Includes 52 Broad Alliance campaign responses and 14 group discussion responses.
Note that percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.
Finally, it was found that 445 respondents had submitted two or more different responses to the consultation. (The maximum number of different responses submitted by a single individual was five.) Multiple different responses from the same individual were combined to form a single amalgamated response. This response, containing all the comments from all their responses, was retained in the database and included in the analysis; all the other responses from that individual were then removed. Thus, for the purposes of analysis, the respondent was counted only once. Through this process, a total of 495 responses were removed.
Following the removal of blank, invalid, duplicate and multiple responses, there were 8,425 substantive responses from 8,425 respondents in the database. (Table A3.2 summarises the process of validating the responses.)
Table A3.2: Number of substantive responses included in the analysis
| ||Number of responses |
|Number of substantive responses received ||9,218 |
|Number of substantive responses removed || |
|Blank responses ||–85 |
|Invalid responses ||–131 |
|Duplicate responses ||–79 |
|Multiple different responses from a single individual ||–495 |
|Responses removed for other reasons ||–3 |
|Total responses ||8,425 |
Thus, the analysis was based on 60,535 responses. As shown in Chapter 2 (Table 2.3) this comprised:
- 8,425 substantive responses (14%)
- 21,077 standard campaign responses (35%)
- 31,033 petition signatories (including 8,375 comments) (51%)