The Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force held 6 public meetings around the country as well as 38 expert roundtables in which it invited experts from a wide range of sectors to talk with Task Force representatives about issues concerning their constituents. The Task Force also solicited public comments at 3 points during the 180-day process: at the very beginning, prior to the release of the Interm Report of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force; prior to the release of the Interm Framework for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning; and following it, for a 60-day public review and comment period prior to the release of the Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force. Transcripts, videos of public meetings, comments, and associated attribute data were made public on the Task Force's website. From this website, I downloaded the public comment data and the available transcripts from the public meetings. I employed a number of steps to convert the public comments and public meetings transcripts into a format accessible by NVivo 9, the qualitative software program with which I analyzed all data. Though some commentators had directly entered their comments into the web-based form, many individuals and organizations submitted their comments as attached documents or pdfs. To facilitate database compilation and data analysis, I manually pasted in the textual content from all attachments into the public comment data spreadsheets. The content in most pdfs was easily extracted to rich text format and pasted into the spreadsheets. However, many pdfs were of poor quality and required extraction via OCR recognition in Adobe Pro. Oftentimes, this process yielded errors (e.g., misspellings, missed spaces), which I manually corrected. Additionally, at each public meeting, handwritten comments were collected and scanned to pdf. Unreadable by Adobe Pro, I had to manually transcribe these comments.