Web Based Surveys

Written by Tara Peris
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Although there are several clear advantages to using Web based surveys, there are also a number of methodological issues that are specific to online research. Both for ethical and procedural reasons, it is important to familiarize yourself with the nuances of online research before diving in, so that you can ensure the validity and integrity of your work. More often than not, the easiest way to do this is with the aid of a good Web-survey company.

Web based surveys are attracting a lot of attention these days because of their ability to reach a seemingly unlimited number of participants. To be sure, the online format has opened the door to a whole new world of research possibilities. At the same time, it has brought with it a new set of complications, and it is important to understand them fully before initiating online research.

Considerations for Web Based Surveys

One of the biggest concerns with Web based surveys pertains to confidentiality. When obtaining personal information of any kind, it is important to ensure that data will remain private. Yet, researchers often want to supplement basic information with data on the demographic characteristics of their samples; depending on what is requested, it may be possible to identify participants based on their responses. In addition, researchers often want identifiers that will allow them to follow up with participants as needed.

These types of issues underscore the importance of keeping participant data private. With traditional data collection, participants' questionnaires are kept under lock and key. In fact, many facilities require a double lock for any confidential research information. As the Web does not have these types of safeguards in place, it is up to individual researchers to preserve confidentiality.


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