Codes & Standards
Sampling techniques applicable to Web researches are similar to those used in traditional surveys. Even in this case, therefore, it is important to divide the sampling methods into two different categories: probability and non-probability sampling.
Even if the classification is similar to the traditional one, there are, however, some important considerations to be made regarding specifically the use of sampling for Web-based surveys.
The first important aspect concerns the availability of sample frames: it is not always possible to obtain appropriate lists and, even if they are available, they are not always suitably drawn up, up-to-date or applicable for the research. You should classify sources used for drawing up sampling frames taking into account the probability or non-probability connotations of the samples which can be selected. Each of these sources involves problems which are pinpointed in the linked guidelines. Even in the case when the sampling frame is suitably made up, some fundamental themes typical of the sampling for Web-based surveys must not be ignored.. One major problem is that people who have access the Internet are characterized by particular and specific social-demographical and economic descriptions. Therefore, the application of a population to a Web-based survey and the choice of an appropriate sampling technique cannot be carried out before one has adequate information on people who have or don’t have access the Internet..
The target of the guidelines linked herunder is to highlight the main problems and the points which should be focused on by the researcher when he decides to conduct a Web-based survey.