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Conference Paper European Survey Research Association Conference

Mixed or Muddled? Combining Survey Modes in The 21st Century


Publication date

29 Jun 2009


This presentation will aim to unpick some of the issues surrounding survey data collection modes. Multi-mode and mixed-mode surveys are hot topics amongst survey methodologists currently. The issues that should be considered are on the one hand complex but on the other hand not new. Throughout the history of survey research, predominant data collection modes have shifted in response to changing technology (computers, telephones, portable computers, and more recently mobile phones and the internet) and in response to changes in the relative costs associated with alternatives. The presentation will argue that traditional categorisations of mode are too simplistic to capture differences in important features of survey data collection. Alternative categorisations will be offered, identifying the features of a survey method that can affect survey error. In many cases it can be seen that these features can vary within modes as well as between modes. The existing literature on mode effects may require reinterpretation in the light of these considerations.


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