Vera Toepoel’s practical, how-to guide to doing surveys online takes you through the entire process of using surveys, from systematically recruiting respondents, to designing the internet survey, to processing the survey data and writing it up. This book helps students and researchers in identifying possible strategies to make the best use of online surveys, providing pro’s and con’s, and do’s and don’ts for each strategy. It also explores the latest opportunities and developments that have arisen in the field of online surveys, including using social networks, and provides expert guidance and examples of best practice throughout. Suitable for those starting a research project or conducting a survey in a professional capacity, this book is the ideal go-to reference for anyone using internet surveys, be it a beginner or a more experienced survey researcher.

Introduction to Online Surveys

1.1 Introduction

In the past 50 years technological developments have had a great impact on society as a whole. This influence is reflected in the way present day survey research is conducted. Advancements in technology have created a more individualized society and affected communication and accessibility between individuals. With the rise of the Internet, we have witnessed a shift to online surveying being the dominant mode of survey data collection.

The base for online surveys lies in the 1980s. It was then that the groundwork was made to allow email to be used as a new manner to collect survey data (Bethlehem and Biffignandi, 2012). This was one of the first steps in the creation of the nowadays commonly used online ...

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