Web Survey Bibliography
Relevance & Research Question:
Online research frequently employs a number of different types of Web Surveys. This research addresses the question of differences between these diverging types of Web Surveys in terms of Item-Non-Response and answers to Open Questions. Identical questionnaires are used, focusing on prejudice and sensitive questions, in particular questions concerning attitudes towards Jews and Muslims in Germany. The research includes a new Web Survey Type recruited by a random sample drawn from a systematically generated pool of email addresses.
Methods & Data:
Data was collected via three different types of Web Surveys. The field time of the three samples was from March to May 2011. The first Web Sample is an Online-Recruited Online-Access-Panel (n=500), the second sample an Offline-Recruited Online-Access-Panel (n=200) and the third is a Web Sample (n=100) drawn from a random sample of a systematically generated pool of email addresses of different providers. In all three different types of Web Survey the identical questionnaires were employed in order to attain comparability.
The primary result is that the outcome is heavily dependent on the type of survey employed. While the first and second survey types show almost the same result concerning Item-Non-Response and response rate to Open Questions, the third has significantly lower Item-Non-Response and fewer, but longer answers to Open Questions. In addition the overall interview time differs between the three different Web Sample Types, being significantly longer for type three.
The core implication for further web research is that it would be too simplistic to divide the world of surveys in online and non-online surveys. Which type of Online Survey is used has a significant impact on data quality. Sensitive questions are particularly unimmunised within the usage of specific types of Web Surveys. By deciding on any type of Online Survey, researchers should keep that in mind and choose carefully.
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