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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Can a professional questionnaire layout make up for a boring topic? The mediating role of topic interest in the relationship between questionnaire layout, response rate, and data quality in online access panels
Year 2010
Access date 27.03.2011

(a) Relevance & Research Question:
As web surveys are nothing extraordinarily new anymore, the method seems to have lost its novelty factor for respondents. Therefore it becomes more important for surveyors to make sure that their questionnaires can motivate respondents to thoroughly finish the survey. Keusch, Kurz and Penzkofer (2009) showed in an online study with IT-managers that professional questionnaire layout can reduce abortion rate. Also the personal interest for a survey topic has proved to be a highly motivational factor in the decision to participate in web surveys (Galesic 2006; Marcus et al. 2007; Porter/Whitcomb 2005). This new study therefore addresses two research questions:
1. Does the layout of a web questionnaire influence response rate and data quality of web surveys in online access panels?
2. Does the personal interest for the survey topic mediate the relationship between questionnaire layout and response rate/data quality?
(b) Methods & Data:
1.670 members of the Austrian Opinions Online Panel were randomly assigned to participate in one of two web surveys about two different topics (insurances and holidays). The layout of both questionnaires was manipulated. Panelists either saw a web questionnaire with a basic or a professional layout. The influence of questionnaire layout and topic was measured on response rate and different indicators of data quality (response latency, item omission, answer length to open-ended questions, non-differentiation in grids).
(c) Results:
Contrary to our expectations the questionnaire layout had no influence on the response rate in the online access panel. But the results also showed that the professional layout helped to motivate individuals with low personal interest for the topic to stay till the end of the survey.
(d) Added Value:
The results of this study indicate that questionnaire layout seems to play a minor role in online access panels overall, though it can help to motivate people that have low interest in the survey topic.

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Year of publication2010
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

Web survey bibliography - Keusch, F. (21)