Paper Vs Web Surveys

Written by Tara Peris
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If you are in the process of trying to decide between the use of paper vs. Web surveys, take some time to consider the merits and drawbacks of each medium before making a choice. Each approach offers unique benefits, and there are tradeoffs with any given option. A thorough understanding of the methodological limitations of each alternative will help you determine the research design best suited to answering your specific questions.

At the heart of any good research study is an effective design. From double blind, placebo controlled clinical trials to single subject case studies, there are countless ways to go about answering your research questions. Your study design need not be complicated, but it should be well suited to addressing your investigative aims.

How to Decide Between Paper Vs. Web Surveys

These days, Web-based protocols are garnering a great deal of attention as an effective new form of research design. The ability to post a survey online and obtain quick responses from a large number of participants is a dream come true for just about every researcher. However, it's not yet time to give up paper and pencil measures altogether. Again, you must consider your specific research questions when weighing the merits of paper vs. Web surveys.

With certain types of personal information, it may make more sense to choose paper measures that allow for safer storage of confidential information. Similarly, if you have questions that are easy to fudge, you don not want to take the chance of sullying your data with insincere responses. Learn about what Web measures can and cannot do, and then use this information to guide your choice of paper vs. Web surveys.


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