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Useful references for online questionnaires
Web Survey Methodology
This website aims to provide information on new technologies in data collection, with a focus on web surveys. It includes an extensive bibliography, discussion forum, news and events. The bibliography includes case studies, sampling, non-response, design, incentives and technology. Also includes a selection of articles and guides. The following links are to the more comprehensive guides available. They provide an overview of each subject and include references to to additional resources and, in some cases, to the relevant codes of conduct of market research societies. They are in pdf format and require Adobe Acrobat (link to Adobe Reader).
Guide to incentives:
Guide to Survey Design:
Guide to Standards:
Guide to Choosing Software:
Edinburgh-Southampton Social Psychology Web-lab
Website set up by researchers involved in an ESRC project on gender stereotypes (Prof Constantine Sedikides, University of Southampton; Dr Alison Lenton, University of Edinburgh) in order to carry out the studies connected to the project. Lists current and previous studies carried out by the team alongside links to other collections of online experiments and questionnaires.
How to Put Questionnaires on the Internet, Dr Paul Kenyon
http://www.flyfishingdevon.co.uk/ salmon/internet_questionnaires/ internet_questionnaires.htm.
An excellent learning module from SALMON (Study and learning Materials online), by Paul Kenyon, formerly of The University of Plymouth, Department of Psychology. Designed to introduce students to the use of the internet for collecting research data. It is related to the particular software and systems in use in the department, but also contains a wealth of general information of use to those aiming to produce online questionnaires in a range of different contexts.
Online survey design guidelines
A collection of tips on design, navigation, accessibility and usability issues collated from key literature in the field, based at the University of Maryland.
Association for Survey Computing
Professional association for Survey Computing in the UK. Includes a searchable database of software for survey creation, administration and analysis.
SRA/RMP seminars on survey methods: Use of internet surveys
in opinion polling
http://www.ccsr.ac.uk/methods/ events/SRARMP1/ programme.htm.
Information webpage of a half-day seminar held jointly by the Social Research Association and the ESRC Research Methods Programme in November 2005. Includes powerpoint presentations on subjects such as layout of online questionnaires and the future of online research.
Books and journal articles
Andrews, D., Nonnecke, B. and Preece, J. (2003) Electronic survey methodology: A case study in reaching hard-to-involve internet users. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 16, 185-210.
Ballard, C. and Prine, R. (2002) Citizen perceptions of community policing: Comparing internet and mail survey responses. Social Science Computer Review, 20, 4.
Bandilla, W. (2002) Web surveys - An appropriate mode of data collection for the social sciences? in Batinic, B., Reips, U. D. and Bosnjak, M. (Eds.) Online Social Sciences. Seattle, WA. Hogrefe and Huber. pp. 1-6.
Bandilla, W. and Bosnjak, M. (2000) Online-Surveys als Herausforderung für die Umfrageforschung, in Mohler, P. P. and Lüttinger, P. (Eds.) Festschrift für Max Kaase. Mannheim, ZUMA. pp. 9-28.
Barnes, S. B. (2003) Issues of attribution and identification in online social research, in Johns, M. D., Chen, S. S. and Hall, G. J. (Eds.) Online Social Research New York. Peter Lang. pp. 203-222.
Best, S. J. and Kruger, B. (2002) New approached to assessing opinion: The prospects for electronic mail surveys. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 14, 73-92.
Best, S. J., Krueger, B., Hubbard, C. and Smith, A. (2001) An assessment of the generalizability of internet surveys. Social Science Computer Review, 19, 131-145.
Birnbaum, M. H. (2004) Human research and data collection via the Internet. Annual Review of Psychology, 55, 803-832.
Bosnjak, M. and Batinic, B. (2002) Understanding the willingness to participate in online surveys - The case of e-mail questionnaires, in Batinic, B., Reips, U. D. and Bosnjak, M. (Eds.) Online Social Sciences Seattle, WA. Hogrefe and Huber. pp. 81-92.
Bosnjak, M. and Tuten, T. L. (2003) Prepaid and promised incentives in Web surveys: An experiment. Social Science Computer Review, 21, 208-217.
Brenner, V. (2002) Generalizability issues in Internet-based survey research: Implications for the Internet addiction controversy, in Batinic, B., Reips, U. D. and Bosnjak, M. (Eds.) Online Social Sciences. Seattle, WA. Hogrefe and Huber. pp. 93-113.
Chen, S. S. and Christians, C. G. (2003) Introduction: Technological environments and the evolution of social research methods, in Johns, M. D., Chen, S. S. and Hall, G. J. (Eds.) Online Social Research New Work. Peter Lang. pp. 15-24.
Conrad, F., Couper, M., Tourangeau, R. and Peytchev, A. (2005) Impact of progress feedback on task completion: First impression matters. Paper presented at the conference CHI 2005, April 2-7, Portland, Oregon, USA.
Couper, M. (2000) Usability evaluation of computer-assisted survey instruments. Social Science Computer Review, 18, 4, 384-396.
Couper, M. P. and Miller, P. V. (2008) Web survey methods - Introduction, Public Opinion Quarterly, 72, 5, 831–835.
Couper, M., Traugott, M. W. and Lamias, M. J. (2001) Web survey design and administration. Public Opinion Quarterly, 65, 2, 230-253.
Dillman, D. A. and Bowker, D. K. (2001) The Web questionnaire challenge to survey methodologists, in Reips, U. D. and Bosnjak, M. (Eds.) Dimensions of Internet science. Lengerich, Germany. Pabst Science Publishers. pp. 159-178.
Ekman, A., Klint, A., Dickman, P. W., Adami, H. and Litton, J. (2007) Optimizing the design of web-based questionnaires – experience from a population-based study among 50,000 women, European Journal of Epidemiology, 22, 293–300.
Glover, D. and Bush, T. (2005) The online or e-survey: a research approach for the ICT age. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 28, 2, 135-146.
Gosling, S. D., Vazire, S., Srivastava, S. and John, O. P. (2004) Should we trust Web-based studies? American Psychologist, 59, 93-104.
Gräf, L. (2002) Assessing internet questionnaires: The online pretest lab, in Batinic, B., Reips, U. D. and Bosnjak, M. (Eds.) Online Social Sciences. Seattle. Hogrefe & Huber. pp. 49-68.
Heerwegh, D. (2004) Using progress indicators in web surveys. Paper prepared for the 59th AAPOR conference, Phoenix, Arizona, May 13-16, 2004.
Heerwegh, D. and Loosveldt, G. (2008) Face-to-face versus web surveying in a high-internet-coverage: Population differences in response quality, Public Opinion Quarterly, 72, 5, 836–846.
Heerwegh, D. and Loosveldt, G. (2006) Personalizing e-mail contacts: its influence on web survey response rate and social desirability response bias, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 19, 2, 258-268.
Huber, P. J. (1967) The behavior of maximum likelihood estimates under non-standard conditions. Proceedings of the Fifth Berkeley Symposium on Mathematical Statistics and Probability 1, pp. 221-233.
Joinson, A. N. Paine, C. Buchanan, T and Reips, U-D. (2008) Measuring self-disclosure online: Blurring and non-response to sensitive items in web-based surveys, Computers in Human Behavior, 24, 2158–2171.
Joinson, A. N., Woodley, A. and Reips, U-D. (2007) Personalization, authentication and self-disclosure in self-administered internet surveys, Computers in Human Behavior, 23, 275–285.
Kaczimirek, L. (2008) Internet survey software tools. In Fielding, N., Lee, R. M. and Blank, G. (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of Online Research Methods. London. SAGE. pp. 236-254.
Kaye, B. K. and Johnson, T. J. (1999) Taming the cyber frontier: Techniques for improving online surveys. Social Science Computer Review, 17, 323-337.
Kraut, R., Olson, J., Banaji, M., Bruckman, A., Cohen, J. and Couper, M. (2004) Psychological research online. American Psychologist, 59, 105-117.
Lefever, S., Dal, M. and Matthíasdóttir, Á. (2007) Online data collection in academic research: advantages and limitations, British Journal of Educational Technology, 38, 4, 574–582.
Luce, K.H., Winzelberg, A.J., Das, S., Osborne, M.I., Bryson, S.W., and Taylor, C.B. (2007) Reliability of self-report: paper versus online administration, Computers in Human Behavior, 23, 3, 1384-1389.
Lumsden, J. and Morgan, W. (2005) Online-Questionnaire Design: Establishing Guidelines and Evaluating Existing Support. National Research Council Canada. Available online at:
Michael Bowling, J., Rimer, B.K., Lyons, E.J., Golin,
G., and Ribisl, K.M. (2006) Methodologic challenges of e-health research, Evaluation and Program Planning 29, 4, 390-396.
Neustadtl, A., Robinson, J. P. and Kestnbaum, M. (2002) Doing social science research online, in Wellman, B. and Haythornthwaite, C. (Eds.) The Internet in Everyday Life Malden, MA. Blackwell. pp. 186-211.
O’ Neil, K. M. and Penrod, S. D. (2001) Methodological variables in Web-based research that may affect results: Sample type, monetary incentives, and personal information, Behavior Research Methods, Instruments and Computers, 33, 226-233.
O’Neil, K. M., Penrod, S. D. and Bornstein, B. H. (2003) Web-based research: Methodological variables’ effects on dropout and sample characteristics. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers, 35, 217-226.
Painea, C., Reips, U-D., Stieger, S., Joinson, A. and Buchanan, T. (2007) Internet users’ perceptions of ‘privacy concerns’ and ‘privacy actions’, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 65, 526–536.
Phippen, A. (2007) How Virtual Are Virtual Methods? Methodological Innovations Online, 2, 1.
Ranchhod, A. and Zhou, F. (2001) Comparing respondents of e-mail and mail surveys: Understanding the implications of technology. Marketing Intelligence and Planning, 19, 254-262.
Schonlau, M., Asch, B. J. and Du, C. (2003) Web surveys as part of a mixed-mode strategy for populations that cannot be contacted by e-mail. Social Science Computer Review, 21, 218-222.
Scriven, A. and Smith-Ferrier, S. (2003) The application of online surveys for workplace health research, Journal for the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, 123, 2, 95-101.
Sillence, E., Briggs, P., Harris, P. and Fishwick, L. (2007) Going online for health advice: Changes in usage and trust practices over the last five years, Interacting with Computers, 19, 3, 397-406.
Toepoel, V., Das, M. and van Soest, A. (2008) Effects of design in web surveys: Comparing trained and fresh respondents, Public Opinion Quarterly, 72, 5, 985–1007.
Truell, A. D., Bartlett, J. E., II. and Alexander, M. W. (2002) Response rate, speed, and completeness: A comparison of Internet-based and mail surveys. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments & Computers, 34, 46-49.
Welker, M. (2001) E-mail surveys: Non-response figures reflected, in Reips, U. D. and Bosnjak, M. (Eds.) Dimensions of Internet science. Lengerich, Germany. Pabst Science Publishers. pp. 231-238.
Wonshik, C. (2003) Issues in Internet research. Nursing Outlook, 51, 6-12.
Zhang, Q., Shao, P. and Fang, J. (2008) Bibliometric Analysis of Current Web Survey Research in China, Tsinghua science and technology, 13, 3, 420-424.
Useful references for web-design
The 'Technical guide' module contains a range of information and further links on web design and web programming for questionnaires. Some key links are also shown below.
Getting started with HTML
A good basic introduction to HTML from the World Wide Web Consortium. (W3C).
A range of short tutorials designed to help you with specific aspects of web design.
List of HTML tags organised by their function, from W3Schools.
Cascading Style Sheets
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
An introduction to Cascading Style Sheets from W3C.
Offers tables of web-safe colours organised by either hue (colour) or value (lightness). Makes it easier to design appropriate colour schemes.
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Validators
Enter a link to you web pages or upload a local file to check that your HTML or CSS meets web standards and guidelines.
Automatically cleans up HTML to correct any problems caused either by mistakes or automatic production of invalid HTML by web editors.
Books and journal articles
Badre, A. N. (2002) Shaping Web Usability. Interaction design in context. Boston. Addison-Wesley.
Holzsclag, M. E. and Lawson, B (2002) Usability: The site speaks for itself. Birmingham. Glasshaus
Lynch, P. J. and Horton, S. (1999) Web style guide: Basic design principles for creating web sites. New Haven and London. Yale University Press.
Nielsen, J. (2000) Designing web usability; The practice of simplicity. Indianapolis, Indianapolis. New Riders. (See also http://www.useit.com)
Nielson, J. and Tahir, M (2002) Homepage usability – 50 Websites Deconstructed. Indianapolis. New Riders.
Pearrow, M. (2000) Web Site Usability Handbook. Rockland, Mass. Charles River Media, Inc. (Chapter 5).
Useful references for usability testing
Usability news: Wichita State University Software Usability
Newsletter providing a range of articles with information on research into software and website design and usability.
Usable Information Technology
Leading site on usability and user studies by Jacob Neilson.
Books and journal articles
Badre, A. N. (2002) Shaping Web Usability. Interaction design in context. Boston: Addison-Wesley. (Chapter 12).
Krug, S. (2000). Don't make me think: A common sense approach to web usability. Indianapolis. New Riders. (Chapter 10).
Nielsen, J. (March 2000). Alertbox column: Why You Only Need to Test with 5 Users. Available online at http://www.useit.com
Pearrow, M. (2000) Web Site Usability Handbook. Rockland, Mass: Charles River Media, Inc. (Chapter 8).