Am I right in thinking that a policy issue can only have zero or one attribution?
You are correct that you need a set of related tables such as this for your first question:
How you relate them depends on the data you put in each record and how you need to link them Presumably an Actor can be linked to many policyIssues records. Will one PolicyIssue record be linked to many Actors? If so, you have a many to many relationship that requires an additional table related like this:
Actors::__pk_ActorID = Actor_Policy::_fk_ActorID
PolicyIssues::__pk_IssueID = Actor_Policy::_fk_IssueID
If not, you have a one to many relationship:
Actors::_pk_ActorID = PolicyIssues::_fk_ActorID
The same question must be asked and answered for the relationship betwen Articles and Actors. This would also appear to be a many to many relationship which will also require a join table to implement.
Here's a demo file that implements a basic many to many relationship and which also includes a few added relationships that illustrate alternative methods for working with such join tables: http://www.4shared.com/file/dZ0bjclw/ManyToManywDemoWExtras.html
Thank you for your question. Basically, it can have a zero attribution (no attribution identified for actor X and policy issue Y). Instead of giving it a simple binary nature (yes or no attribution), I would like to say also what kind of attribution, e.g.:
0 = no attribution
1 = positive attribution
2 = neutral attribution
3 = negative attribution
My unit of analysis are selected newspaper articles (= one FM record per article). In each of them I try to identify all political actors. And for each of these actors I identify one main policy issue and their attribution. Example: "Actor X says nuclear energy is bad". "Actor X" is the actor, "nuclear energy" the the policy issue and "bad" a negative attribution. Of course, this does not always work like that, but that would be the basic idea for the coding. I am pretty sure of what I want to do, I just have difficulties to come up with a FM layout that would allow me to do what I want.
Can you help me? Don't hesitate to ask for further clarifications!
Thank you so much for your interest!
Looks like Phil has answered your problem :)