Conducting Research Surveys Via E-mail and the Web by Matthias Schonlau; Ronald D. Fricker; Marc N. ElliottInternet-based surveys, although still in their infancy, are becomingincreasingly popular because they are believed to be faster, better,cheaper, and easier to conduct than surveys using more-traditional telephoneor mail methods. Based on evidence in the literature and real-life casestudies, this book examines the validity of those claims. The authorsdiscuss the advantages and disadvantages of using e-mail and the Web toconduct research surveys, and also offer practical suggestions for designing and implementing Internet surveys most effectively.Among other findings, the authors determined that Internet surveys may bepreferable to mail or telephone surveys when a list of e-mail addresses forthe target population is available, thus eliminating the need for mail orphone invitations to potential respondents. Internet surveys also arewell-suited for larger survey efforts and for some target populations thatare difficult to reach by traditional survey methods. Web surveys areconducted more quickly than mail or phone surveys when respondents arecontacted initially by e-mail, as is often the case when a representativepanel of respondents has been assembled in advance. And, although surveysincur virtually no coding or data-entry costs because the data are capturedelectronically, the labor costs for design and programming can be high.
Publication Date: 2002
Nonresponse in Social Science Surveys by Panel on a Research Agenda for the Future of Social Science Data Collection; Committee on National Statistics; Division on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; National Research CouncilFor many household surveys in the United States, responses rates have been steadily declining for at least the past two decades. A similar decline in survey response can be observed in all wealthy countries. Efforts to raise response rates have used such strategies as monetary incentives or repeated attempts to contact sample members and obtain completed interviews, but these strategies increase the costs of surveys. This review addresses the core issues regarding survey nonresponse. It considers why response rates are declining and what that means for the accuracy of survey results. These trends are of particular concern for the social science community, which is heavily invested in obtaining information from household surveys. The evidence to date makes it apparent that current trends in nonresponse, if not arrested, threaten to undermine the potential of household surveys to elicit information that assists in understanding social and economic issues. The trends also threaten to weaken the validity of inferences drawn from estimates based on those surveys. High nonresponse rates create the potential or risk for bias in estimates and affect survey design, data collection, estimation, and analysis. The survey community is painfully aware of these trends and has responded aggressively to these threats. The interview modes employed by surveys in the public and private sectors have proliferated as new technologies and methods have emerged and matured. To the traditional trio of mail, telephone, and face-to-face surveys have been added interactive voice response (IVR), audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (ACASI), web surveys, and a number of hybrid methods. Similarly, a growing research agenda has emerged in the past decade or so focused on seeking solutions to various aspects of the problem of survey nonresponse; the potential solutions that have been considered range from better training and deployment of interviewers to more use of incentives, better use of the information collected in the data collection, and increased use of auxiliary information from other sources in survey design and data collection. Nonresponse in Social Science Surveys: A Research Agenda also documents the increased use of information collected in the survey process in nonresponse adjustment.
Publication Date: 2013
Conducting Biosocial Surveys by Biological Specimens and Biodata in Social Surveys Management Staff; Maxine Weinstein (Editor); National Research Council Staff; Barney Cohen (Editor); National Statistics Board Staff; Population Committee; Panel on Collecting, Storing, Accessing, and Protecting Biological Specimens and Biodata in Social Surveys Staff; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education Staff; Robert M. Hauser (Editor); Robert Pool (Editor)Recent years have seen a growing tendency for social scientists to collect biological specimens such as blood, urine, and saliva as part of large-scale household surveys. By combining biological and social data, scientists are opening up new fields of inquiry and are able for the first time to address many new questions and connections. But including biospecimens in social surveys also adds a great deal of complexity and cost to the investigator's task. Along with the usual concerns about informed consent, privacy issues, and the best ways to collect, store, and share data, researchers now face a variety of issues that are much less familiar or that appear in a new light. In particular, collecting and storing human biological materials for use in social science research raises additional legal, ethical, and social issues, as well as practical issues related to the storage, retrieval, and sharing of data. For example, acquiring biological data and linking them to social science databases requires a more complex informed consent process, the development of a biorepository, the establishment of data sharing policies, and the creation of a process for deciding how the data are going to be shared and used for secondary analysis--all of which add cost to a survey and require additional time and attention from the investigators. These issues also are likely to be unfamiliar to social scientists who have not worked with biological specimens in the past. Adding to the attraction of collecting biospecimens but also to the complexity of sharing and protecting the data is the fact that this is an era of incredibly rapid gains in our understanding of complex biological and physiological phenomena. Thus the tradeoffs between the risks and opportunities of expanding access to research data are constantly changing. Conducting Biosocial Surveys offers findings and recommendations concerning the best approaches to the collection, storage, use, and sharing of biospecimens gathered in social science surveys and the digital representations of biological data derived therefrom. It is aimed at researchers interested in carrying out such surveys, their institutions, and their funding agencies.
Publication Date: 2010
Social Media, Sociality, and Survey Research by Craig A. Hill; Elizabeth Dean; Joe MurphyProvides the knowledge and tools needed for the future of survey research The survey research discipline faces unprecedented challenges, such as falling response rates, inadequate sampling frames, and antiquated approaches and tools. Addressing this changing landscape, Social Media, Sociality, and Survey Research introduces readers to a multitude of new techniques in data collection in one of the fastest developing areas of survey research. The book is organized around the central idea of a "sociality hierarchy" in social media interactions, comprised of three levels: broadcast, conversational, and community based. Social Media, Sociality, and Survey Research offers balanced coverage of the theory and practice of traditional survey research, while providing a conceptual framework for the opportunities social media platforms allow. Demonstrating varying perspectives and approaches to working with social media, the book features: New ways to approach data collection using platforms such as Facebook and Twitter Alternate methods for reaching out to interview subjects Design features that encourage participation with engaging, interactive surveys Social Media, Sociality, and Survey Research is an important resource for survey researchers, market researchers, and practitioners who collect and analyze data in order to identify trends and draw reliable conclusions in the areas of business, sociology, psychology, and population studies. The book is also a useful text for upper-undergraduate and graduate-level courses on survey methodology and market research.
Publication Date: 2013
Research Interviewing by GillhamThe robust, real-world approach makes this book appropriate for practitioner researchers and postgraduate students up to PhD level. Covers distance and face-to-face interviewing, from the un-structured and naturalistic to the highly structured, focused and time-efficient. Emphasis is placed on using the most appropriate methods for the research purpose and how to identify which method is practicable. Based on over thirty years of teaching and supervising research and postgraduate students, the author anticipates questions and difficulties at a level of practical detail. Practical and easy to use, this book is essential for anyone doing research interviewing.
Beyond Listening: earning the secret language of focus groups by Bonnie GoebertA groundbreaking guide to making one of marketing's most important resources more effective When kids in a Nabisco focus group told researchers that they always separated their Oreos before they ate them, the researchers recommended that the company develop a cookie that couldn't be taken apart. Fortunately, in this case, Nabisco didn't heed the researchers' advice. Each year, companies spend a billion dollars on focus groups designed to ferret out consumer motivation, and, according to expert Bonnie Goebert, in many cases they're throwing their money away. In this fascinating book, Goebert, a highly respected moderator with three decades of experience with focus groups, explains what's wrong with how companies use the information. More importantly, she draws on her own experiences with clients like the New York Times, Tropicana, Maxwell House, Colgate, Maybelline, Lipton, Federal Express, and scores of other prestigious accounts to provide simple clear-cut guidelines on how companies of just about any size can use focus groups to capture the hearts and minds of consumers. Bonnie Goebert (Southampton, NY) heads her own focus group consulting firm.