By Martyn Denscombe
The great study advisor is a best-selling introductory ebook at the fundamentals of social research.
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Can access to the survey be restricted by using a password? •• Are there blocks against computer-generated mass submissions? g. where to gain access to the survey each respondent needs to ‘decipher’ a number displayed in a format which cannot be machine-read) Design features •• Are templates and specimen questions provided? •• Will the software allow you to add a logo and customize the appearance of the survey? •• Is it possible to insert a progress bar to show respondent how far they are through the questionnaire?
Literally, it has to stand out and be conspicuous. A survey of people belonging to a specific interest group, of course, should have no problem on this score since those involved will have been targeted exactly because of their (known) interest in the topic. In any surveys where such a matching of interests cannot be guaranteed, the onus is on researchers to do all they can to make the topic interesting. They need to present the topic in a way that is upbeat, enthusiastic and positive – doing all they can to get the respondent interested in the topic.
14 The Good Research Guide Good practice Web surveys work best when … •• Either: A list of email addresses is available for the research population because this allows the researcher to target relevant people (and allows more systematic sampling techniques). •• Or: Self-selection to the survey is useful because it gives access to people specifically relevant for the topic of the research. When the web survey is based on inviting specific people to participate, it is important to keep things simple and straightforward.