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Offline responses - how do I manually add attachments for an offline response?

Rowena Farr -

Offline responses may contain hard copy attachments or supplementary information which need to be recorded in Citizen Space as part of an individual's response to a consultation, or you may wish to attach a scan of the whole offline response so you have it as evidence to refer back to.

This article details how additional files can be included when an offline response is manually entered into Citizen Space.

Step 1 - scan the hard copies

You will need to scan the hard copies & have the files saved somewhere on your computer in order to upload a digital copy of them to the consultation.

Step 2 - add a file upload component to your survey

You will need to have a question with a 'File upload' answer component in your survey. To add questions while the consultation is live will mean having to temporarily retract it, so it's best to either build in an 'analyst-only' (i.e. hidden) file upload question when you create your survey in the first place and before you publish it, or wait until the consultation has closed & then retract it to add a file upload question.

If you must make the change while the consultation is still running, it's best to plan for this and choose the exact question wording etc prior to retracting the consultation. This will allow you to quickly make the necessary changes and immediately re-publish your consultation.

Add a new question to your survey in the usual way, and enter something that will let your analysts know what this question is for. If you're adding this question before or while your survey is live, remember to tick the check-box to make it an 'analyst-only' question so it won't appear in the public survey.

Screenshot showing a question being added with the text Attach a copy of the original response.

 

Then add a file upload component to the question:

Screen-shot showing a file upload component being selected from the list of available answer components.

If you need to upload multiple hard copy attachments to the same response, you'll need to add multiple file upload answer components to your survey as each can only be used to upload one file. See this article about adding multiple answer components for help with this. There is a default hard limit of 20 file uploads that can be added to any one survey.

Step 3 - manually add the offline response to Citizen Space

To enter an offline response, click on Add a response manually from the consultation dashboard. This option appears in the left hand column, about halfway down:

Add a response manually link is highlighted.

 

The "Add a response manually" view is similar to the "Analyse responses" view because it allows you to manually input a response AND carry out your analysis simultaneously. You will see the file upload component that you added, which has a button to browse and select the saved scans or attachments from your computer:

Screen-shot showing the analyst-only file upload component in the Add a response manually view.

Please be aware:

  • If you go to add the response and see a red error message at the top of the page because you missed a required question:

Screenshot showing validation errors at the top of the Add a response manually page.

Citizen Space will forget the file that you selected in the file upload component so you will need to re-select the file before you try to add the response again:

Error message on file uploads component if missing other required information. It states, Due to errors on the page we can't automatically reset the file you selected. Please reselect your file.

  • Once you have saved a manual response, you will no longer be able to edit any of the answers to the public questions. However any questions that were set as 'analyst-only' will still be editable if you need to change or add any information.
  • Responses that are added manually are assigned a response ID beginning with BHLF to indicate they have been entered on behalf of another person.

 

Where do the analyst-only answer components and supporting documents appear on the export?

The analyst-only answer components appear in the same way as public answer components for each question. Any uploaded files will be downloadable as attachments via a link. You can read more about how to access files uploaded to a consultation here.