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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Exploring the Influence of Respondents' IT Literacy on Nonresponse in an Online Survey
Year 2017
Access date 14.04.2017

Relevance & Research Question:

Researchers have expressed concern about the generalizability to the general population of estimations based on online surveys. While much of this discussion circles around the suitability of nonprobability sampling methods, the lack of coverage of persons without computers and/or internet has also received attention. Probability-based online panels only account for this potential source of error, if they specifically cover the offline population, for example by equipping them with devices and internet connection. However, even when covered, offliners tend to be underrepresented in the final sample because of nonresponse.

Research in this area has thus far considered the underrepresentation of sample units in online surveys to be a binary phenomenon: sample units were either offline or online. In this paper, we extend this binary characteristic into the multi-dimensional characteristic of IT literacy. We use IT literacy to predict nonresponse in the German Internet Panel at the first online interview and across waves.

Methods & Data:

For this purpose we run a Latent Class Analysis to identify different classes of IT literacy. To assess differences in response probabilities with regard to IT literacy and panel wave, we run logistic regressions.


We find that respondents who belong to different classes of IT literacy have systematically different socio-demographic characteristics and show different voting behavior. In addition, we find that response propensities vary by classes of IT literacy, both at the first online interview and regarding retention over time.

Added Value:

This paper is the first to consider a multi-dimensional classification of IT literacy and its value to predicting nonresponse in online surveys.

Year of publication2017
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

Web survey bibliography (8390)