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ESRA 2023 sessions by theme

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Cross-national probability-based web or mixed mode panels 1

Coordinator 1Dr Gianmaria Bottoni (ESS ERIC HQ, City University of London)
Coordinator 2Professor Rory Fitzgerald (ESS ERIC HQ, City University of London)

Session Details

Conducting high quality scientific social surveys in a national setting is per se a complex, costly and time-consuming task, but cross-national surveys face significant additional challenges. The historical development of the social survey reflects the ongoing tension between trying to maintain or reduce costs whilst also trying producing high quality data. The development of Information and Communication Technology has opened a new chapter in that complex interrelationship. Web surveys have several characteristics that make them an attractive alternative to more traditional modes of data collection and in particular to face-to-face surveys which are becoming increasingly expensive. With web surveys there are no costs of paying and training interviewers and the interviewer effect is removed from the equation. Answers to the questionnaire are captured in real time and reminders can be sent in a digital format once respondents are identified. In addition, the gap between questionnaire design and the start of fieldworks is substantially reduced.
For these reasons, web surveys are particularly suitable for implementing panel studies as once willing respondents are recruited their responses can be repeatedly captured without further in-person contact.
In the last years, several countries in Europe, Australia and USA have established on-line or mixed mode panels with a web component based upon probability samples.
This session is open to anyone who would like to present methodological findings from existing or planned cross-national web panels. Amongst the other topics, papers might cover: challenges linked to cross-national setting (e.g. input-harmonisation, translation issues, questionnaire design) representativeness, recruitment strategy, cost analyses, contact mode effects, incentive strategies, effects of device on measurement, mode effect, efforts to improve survey completion respondent behaviour, strategies to improve response rate, and the impact of including off-liners through alternative modes of data collection.