Notice: the WebSM website has not been updated since the beginning of 2018.

Web Survey Bibliography

Title How accurate are self-selection web surveys?
Year 2008
Access date 26.03.2009

A web survey seems to be an attractive means of collecting survey data, because it provides simple, cheap and fast access to a large group of  people. However, there are pitfalls. Due to methodological problems, the quality of the outcomes of web surveys may be seriously affected. This paper addresses one of these problems, and that is self-selection of respondents. Self-selection leads to a lack of representativity and thus to biased estimates. The effect of self-selection on the distributional characteristics of estimators is described in detail. It is shown that the bias of estimators in self-selection surveys can be much larger than in surveys based on traditional probability samples. A simulation study also shows what can go wrong in a self-selection web survey. It is explored whether some correction techniques (adjustment weighting and use of reference surveys) can improve the quality of the outcomes. It turns out that there is no guarantee for success.

Access/Direct link

Homepage (abstract)/(full text)

Year of publication2008
Bibliographic typeGeneric - other
Full text availabilityFurther details