Selection Bias in Web Surveys

Selection Bias in Web Surveys Summary At first sight, web surveys seem to be an interesting and attractive means of data collection. They provide simple, cheap, and fast access to a large group of potential respondents. However, web surveys are not without methodological problems. Specific groups in the populations are under‐represented because they have less access to Internet. Furthermore, recruitment of respondents is often based on self‐selection. Both under‐coverage and self‐selection may lead to biased estimates. This paper describes these methodological problems. It also explores the effect of various correction techniques (adjustment weighting and use of reference surveys). This all leads to the question whether properly design web surveys can be used for data collection. The paper attempts to answer this question. It concludes that under‐coverage problems may solve itself in the future, but that self‐selection leads to unreliable survey outcomes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Statistical Review Wiley

Selection Bias in Web Surveys

International Statistical Review, Volume 78 (2) – Aug 1, 2010

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2010 The Author. Journal compilation © 2010 International Statistical Institute
ISSN
0306-7734
eISSN
1751-5823
D.O.I.
10.1111/j.1751-5823.2010.00112.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Summary At first sight, web surveys seem to be an interesting and attractive means of data collection. They provide simple, cheap, and fast access to a large group of potential respondents. However, web surveys are not without methodological problems. Specific groups in the populations are under‐represented because they have less access to Internet. Furthermore, recruitment of respondents is often based on self‐selection. Both under‐coverage and self‐selection may lead to biased estimates. This paper describes these methodological problems. It also explores the effect of various correction techniques (adjustment weighting and use of reference surveys). This all leads to the question whether properly design web surveys can be used for data collection. The paper attempts to answer this question. It concludes that under‐coverage problems may solve itself in the future, but that self‐selection leads to unreliable survey outcomes.

Journal

International Statistical ReviewWiley

Published: Aug 1, 2010

References

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