An adaptive design approach to web fieldwork on the UK Household Longitudinal Study

Publication type

Conference Paper


7th Conference of the European Survey Research Association, Lisbon, Portugal, July 17-21, 2017


Publication date

July 19, 2017


The UK Household Longitudinal Study, also known as Understanding Society, started in 2009 and for the first 7 waves almost all interviewing was completed face to face. At wave 8 in 2016 the study became mixed mode with 40% of households being invited to take part online initially (with non-responders being followed up face to face). To make the study as cost effective as possible, it was important to maximise the number of people and, in particular, whole households that completed the survey online before the start of face to face interviewing. Sample was issued in monthly batches so, to test the most effective design for web fieldwork, an adaptive design approach was used to vary the length of web fieldwork, the incentives used, and the reminder strategy for different batches. Most of these variations were implemented experimentally. This paper will cover the practicalities of using an adaptive design approach, as well as the details of the different web fieldwork designs used, how they affected response rates, and whether or not they were cost effective.





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