Survey Methodology is becoming a more structured field of research, deserving of more and more academic attention. The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology explores both the increasingly scientific endeavour of surveys and their growing complexity, as different data collection modes and information sources are combined. The handbook takes a global approach, with a team of international experts looking at local and national specificities, as well as problems of cross-national, comparative survey research. The chapters are organized into seven major sections, each of which represents a stage in the survey life-cycle: Surveys and Societies Planning a Survey Measurement Sampling Data Collection Preparing Data for Use Assessing and Improving Data Quality The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology is a landmark and essential tool for any scholar within the social sciences.

Survey Standards

Tom W. Smith


First, there are informal common or customary practices. For example, in the field of survey research (as well as in many other disciplines), the general norm is to accept probabilities of 0.05 or smaller as ‘statistically significant’ and thus scientifically creditable. As far as I know, this rule is not codified in any general, formal standards, but it is widely taught in university courses and applied by peer reviewers, editors, and others at journals, publishers, funding agencies, etc. (Cowles and Davis, 1982). Other examples are the use of null hypotheses and including literature reviews in research articles (Smith, 2005).

Second, standards are adopted by professional and trade associations.1 These may apply only ...

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