19.003 methodology of surveying

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 9 May 2005 20:04:57 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 3.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

   [1] From: John Unsworth <unsworth_at_uiuc.edu> (26)
         Subject: surveys?

   [2] From: Marcus Holmes <mch43_at_georgetown.edu> (11)
         Subject: Re: 18.771 methodology of surveying?

         Date: Sat, 07 May 2005 07:53:07 +0100
         From: John Unsworth <unsworth_at_uiuc.edu>
         Subject: surveys?


I passed your question along to Leigh Estabrook, former dean here at
GSLIS and director of the Library Research Center, which does survey
research, mostly for public libraries, and she said:

>1. Key is the sampling frame to judge the generalizability of
>the results
>2. how are the questions designed--
> are they phrased in such a manner that you can
>expect all respondents to understand the question in the same way
> are the questions written in such a way that they
>don't bias the response--don't lead the questionnaire to feel a
>certain answer is desired
>3. When they answer questionnaires, respondents will also
>judge whether they feel the survey as a whole is worthwhile--are
>the results important.
>I am leaving out the issue of analysis, response rate, etc. I was
>assuming this question related to design. There are many, many
>books written about sampling, survey design and even the validity
>of different methods (i.e., web, face-to-face, telephone). For
>example, we know some kinds of sensitive information is more easily
>obtained face-to-face than by telephone.

She offered to come up with bibliographic references, but I said this
was fine for starters. If you want to be in touch directly, she's
leighe_at_uiuc.edu and the Library Research Center is at http:// lrc.lis.uiuc.edu/


         Date: Sat, 07 May 2005 07:54:03 +0100
         From: Marcus Holmes <mch43_at_georgetown.edu>
         Subject: Re: 18.771 methodology of surveying?

Hello Willard,

A very complicated topic! Two books I would recommend that achieve
precisely what you are looking for:

"Survey Research Methods" by Floyd Fowler


"Questions about Questions: Inquiries into the Cognitive Bases of Surveys"
by Judith Tanur

I'm sure there will be other recommendations, but these should provide a
good start.


Received on Mon May 09 2005 - 15:19:40 EDT

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