Notice: the WebSM website has not been updated since the beginning of 2018.

Web Survey Bibliography

Title Effects of Survey Sponsorship on Internet and Mail Response: Using Address- Based Sampling
Year 2013
Access date 30.05.2013

Scholars have shown that the combined use of token cash incentives with an initial withholding of a mail response alternative can increase Internet response rates significantly in regional and
state-level surveys using address-based sampling. However, the effectiveness of this model has declined when university sponsors have surveyed residents in distant states. While nonresponse rates are not necessarily predictive of nonresponse bias, attitudes toward a survey’s sponsoring organization may influence both response rates and nonresponse bias. To test the effects of survey sponsorship by a local (in-state) university sponsor versus a distant (out-of-state) university sponsor on response rates, we conducted an experiment in spring 2012 with an address-based sample of Washington and Nebraska residents. We found that sponsorship had a significant effect on final response rates in both states, with in-state sponsorship significantly improving response for both mail-only and 2 Web+mail (initial Web request with a mail questionnaire offered in the fourth and final contact) treatment groups. For 2 Web+mail groups, we also found that local sponsorship increased the risk of responding by Web (relative to not responding), but not the risk of responding by mail (relative to not responding). In examining the representativeness of the resulting samples, we found that our survey respondents were both generally older and more highly educated than state-level estimates from the Gallup Poll and American Community Survey. In Nebraska, a Republican-leaning state, distant-sponsored surveys obtained a lower percentage of Republicans than local-sponsored surveys. In Washington, a Democrat-leaning state, local-sponsored surveys obtained a lower percentage of Republicans than distant-sponsored surveys. This research suggests that recent public opinion findings demonstrating declining public trust in science among conservatives (but not other groups) may have important consequences for university-sponsored survey research.

Access/Direct link

Conference Homepage (abstract)

Year of publication2013
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

Web survey bibliography - The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) 68th Annual Conference, 2013 (88)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 1
  • 2