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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Influence of mobile devices in online surveys
Year 2013
Access date 27.03.2013

Relevance & Research Question:
Since regular online-surveys via conventional links in e-mail-invitations are filled-in increasingly by mobile devices, this poster presents selected results and implications of smartphones on online surveys from a methodological point.
Researchers who send out e-mail invitations to respondents have no direct influence on the selection of end-devices which are used to complete an online-survey. With the increase of different types of devices with online-browsers which are capable of dealing with online-surveys, possible effects of method on data grow as well. In order to control those effects effectively, knowledge about them is needed.
The main methodological research question of this study is: If and how do mobile devices have an influence on data according to specific Para-data and socio-demographic variables compared to conventional devices like PCs.
Methods & Data:
n=894 alumni of the University of Graz completed an online survey about attitudes towards their university and their current professional situation. The invitation was sent to the e-mail addresses of the alumni with an embedded link to open the survey in a mail client. The data-file provided by the online-survey software EFS gives information via User Agent String about the used browsers and mobile devices which finished the survey. Therefore comparisons of data between mobile and conventional devices have been done for the following criteria: Speed of answering, average duration of completion, behavior of answering a difficult open-ended question i.e. number of responses, characters and quality of answers, number of interruptions during completion, sex and age.
Share of mobile devices of total sample is 7.1%. Those devices are primarily iOS and Android smartphones. Speed of answering with mobile phones is higher than in the conventional group, completion of survey takes longer with smartphones, the asked open-ended question is less often filled-in by mobile devices. Typos and false automatic corrections of entries done by mobile operating systems influence quality of data in a negative way.
Added Value:
Main purpose of the poster is to create awareness with practitioners and academic researchers concerning the possible impact of mobile devices on method effects in online studies.

Access/Direct link

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)