The Design and Administration of Mail Surveys

The Design and Administration of Mail Surveys For reasons of cost and ease of implementation, mail surveys are more frequently used for social research than are either telephone or face-to-face interviews. In this chapter, the last two decades of research aimed at improving mail survey methods are examined. Discussion of this research is organized around progress made in overcoming four important sources of error: sampling , noncoverage, measurement, and nonresponse. Progress has been especially great in improving response rates as a means of reducing nonresponse error. Significant progress has also been made in finding means of overcoming measurement error. Because mail surveys generally present few, if any, special sampling error problems, little research in this area has been conducted. The lack of research on noncoverage issues is a major deficiency in research to date , and noncoverage error presents the most significant impediment to the increased use of mail surveys. The 1990s are likely to see increased research on mail surveys, as efforts are made to incorporate mail into cost-effective mixed mode designs. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Sociology Annual Reviews

The Design and Administration of Mail Surveys

Annual Review of Sociology, Volume 17 (1) – Aug 1, 1991

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright 1991 Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
Subject
Review Articles
ISSN
0360-0572
eISSN
1545-2115
DOI
10.1146/annurev.so.17.080191.001301
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

For reasons of cost and ease of implementation, mail surveys are more frequently used for social research than are either telephone or face-to-face interviews. In this chapter, the last two decades of research aimed at improving mail survey methods are examined. Discussion of this research is organized around progress made in overcoming four important sources of error: sampling , noncoverage, measurement, and nonresponse. Progress has been especially great in improving response rates as a means of reducing nonresponse error. Significant progress has also been made in finding means of overcoming measurement error. Because mail surveys generally present few, if any, special sampling error problems, little research in this area has been conducted. The lack of research on noncoverage issues is a major deficiency in research to date , and noncoverage error presents the most significant impediment to the increased use of mail surveys. The 1990s are likely to see increased research on mail surveys, as efforts are made to incorporate mail into cost-effective mixed mode designs.

Journal

Annual Review of SociologyAnnual Reviews

Published: Aug 1, 1991

Keywords: survey research; measurement error; nonresponse error; response rate; noncoverage error; mixed mode surveys

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