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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Metadata on the demographics of online research: Results from a full-range study of available online questionnaires on recruitment portals.
Year 2013
Access date 26.03.2013

Relevance & Research Question: The use of web-based data collection methods is still a growing trend in the Social Sciences. However, up to now, only very little is known about the background demographics of online research, meaning the broader social, thematic and geographical context in which online research is embedded. The present study aims to fill this knowledge gap by examining all available data records (N = 3036) from five major online recruitment portals.
Methods & Data: After identifying online portal sites that are widely used by researchers to recruit participants for their online studies, information on the research areas of the listed studies, the names of the affiliated universities, and geodata (e.g., countries, cities, and coordinates of universities) was extracted. Furthermore, on the university level it was examined whether conducting online research was associated with possessing higher academic prestige (operationalized as being included in the Top 500 QS World University Rankings ź 2011/2012).
Results: The online studies in the present sample originated from a total of 481 different institutions located in 364 different cities in 29 countries all over the world. It was found that online research is not evenly distributed among all countries but carried out predominantly in Western industrialized nations (e.g., USA, Central Europe, UK) whereas there is almost no activity in Asia, South America, and Africa. In order to visualize the prevalence of online studies geographically, latitude-longitude-coordinates (n = 1964) of all institutions were illustrated on a world heat map. Furthermore, universities conducting online research were more likely to be included in the top 500 university ranking (odds-ratio: 22.7) than those that did not. The dominant research area turned out to be Social Psychology (38%), followed by Clinical and Health Psychology (16%), Cognitive Psychology (15%), and Personality and Individual Differences (13%).
Added Value: The present research provides a full population analysis of available data entries on online recruitment portals shedding considerable light on the demographical and geographical underpinnings on which online research is actually carried out.

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GOR Homepage (abstract) / (presentation)

Year of publication2013
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations
Full text availabilityAvailable on request

Web survey bibliography - General Online Research Conference (GOR) 2013 (34)