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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Using administrative data to find the best medium: Examples of mixed sources and mixed modes
Year 2010
Access date 19.04.2013

The use of administrative or register data as a sampling frame for surveys is a common practice in the worlds of both official and non-official statistics. The rise of mixed mode surveys has raised the question of how information from registers can be used optimally to determine what would be the best survey mode or the best combination of options for different groups. Personal characteristics available beforehand can be used to make fairly accurate response estimations for different modes for each group. If, as is the case in some common survey designs, telephone interviews are used as a ‘last resort’ after approach by post and/or email has failed to yield a response, one needs to estimate in advance for what proportion of a given group a correct postal address, e-mail address and telephone number will be available, not just what the willingness to respond will be among those who can be reached.
Notwithstanding the recent debate about the possible negative effect on response rates offering a choice could have in some cases, on the whole, clever mixed mode designs certainly do optimize response rates. However, exactly what constitutes the best mode mix varies from survey to survey and within a survey from group to group. Moreover, what may have been the best mix three years ago may be no longer the best mix now. In most Western societies, the proportion of the general population for which a telephone number can be found in a publicly available telephone register is steadily decreasing (in the Netherlands, by a few percentage points each year). Internet coverage is still expanding, but now the novelty of web surveys has seen some respondents rather return to paper. E-mail addresses are hard to come by and notoriously volatile. Finally, population characteristics sometimes change quite rapidly in some areas or some sectors. Survey experts often have good reasons for opposing unnecessary changes; however, in survey design, stagnation nowadays soon means decline.

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Statistics Canada Homepage (abstract)

Year of publication2010
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations
Full text availabilityNon-existant