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Conducting Web-Based Surveys

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Document pages: 5 pages

Abstract: Web-based surveying is becoming widely used in social science and educational research. The Web offers significant advantages over more traditional survey techniques however there are still serious methodological challenges with using this approach. Currently coverage bias or the fact significant numbers of people do not have access, or choose not to use the Internet is of most concern to researchers. Survey researchers also have much to learn concerning the most effective ways to conduct surveys over the Internet. While in its early stages, research on Internet-based survey methodology has identified a number of factors that influence data quality. Of note, several studies have found Internet surveys have significantly lower response rates than comparable mailed surveys. Several factors have been found to increase response rates including personalized email cover letters, follow-up reminders, pre-notification of the intent to survey and simpler formats. A variety of software tools are now available for conducting Internet surveys and they are becoming a increasing sophisticated and easy to use. While there is a need for caution, the use of Web-based surveying is clearly going to grow.

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