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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Design and test of a web-survey for collecting observer’s ratings on dairy goats’ behavioural data
Source Applied Animal Behaviour, 158, pp. 52-58
Year 2016
Access date 29.03.2017
A considerable amount of behavioural research studies are based on observer’s ratings collected during field visits. New methods for collecting this type of data have recently emerged, for instance using videos or photographs that are presented and assessed during workshops or meetings, or through electronic data devices. In this article we present and discuss the use of web-surveys as an alternative method for data collection, using as an example a case-study aiming at developing a goat lameness scoring system. We detail how the web-survey for collecting ratings on dairy goats’ behavioural data in videos was developed and applied from a researcher viewpoint, so that others can replicate and benefit from our experience. In comparison with other methods reported in the literature, we were able to reach a high and more diverse number of respondents through the implementation of a simple logistic setting and innovative technology-based design, and without disturbance of animals’ routine. We believe that this study provides valuable information at two levels. First it contributes to the establishment of web-surveys in animal behaviour and welfare research, and it provides relevant information for researchers and practitioners that need to collect and analyse observeās ratings through new formats. Second, the data collected allowed us to get an insight of potential difficulties an observer can experience while analysing lameness, particularly when faced with the challenge of assessing simultaneously more than one lameness sign. This information is particularly important for researchers developing new lameness scoring systems. Additionally, the web-survey proved to be appropriate for analysing the impact of background and experience on lameness ratings, showing particularly how occupation and education can influence observers’ proficiency in assessing dairy goats’ behavioural data. Finally, we discuss how answers to the web-survey can potentiate investigation and open new research lines, including: assessing intra-observer and inter-observer reliability; and, in the specific case of our web-survey, generating information for building and validating a new lameness scoring system. We finish by reflecting on some potential weaknesses of the web-survey.
Year of publication2016
Bibliographic typeJournal article