High response rates have traditionally been considered as one ofthe main indicators of survey quality. Obtaining high responserates is sometimes difficult and expensive, but clearly plays abeneficial role in terms of improving data quality. It is becomingincreasingly clear, however, that simply boosting response toachieve a higher response rate will not in itself eradicatenonresponse bias. In this book the authors argue that high responserates should not be seen as a goal in themselves, but rather aspart of an overall survey quality strategy based on randomprobability sampling and aimed at minimising nonresponse bias. Key features of Improving Survey Response: * A detailed coverage of nonresponse issues, including a uniqueexamination of cross-national survey nonresponse processes andoutcomes. * A discussion of the potential causes of nonresponse andpractical strategies to combat it. * A detailed examination of the impact of nonresponse and oftechniques for adjusting for it once it has occurred. * Examples of best practices and experiments drawn from 25European countries.
* Supplemented by the European Social Survey (ESS) websites,containing materials for the measurement and analysis ofnonresponse based on detailed country-level response processdatasets. The book is designed to help survey researchers and thosecommissioning surveys by explaining how to prioritise the reductionof nonresponse bias rather than focusing on increasing the overallresponse rate. It shows substantive researchers how nonresponse canimpact on substantive outcomes.
Ineke Stoop, Social and Cultural Planning Office of the Netherlands
Head of the Department of Data Services and IT, Dr Stoop has worked in survey research and data quality for almost 30 years. She's a member of the advisory board for both Eurostat and the ISI. Her main research interest is nonresponse.
Jaak Billiet, Centre for Sociological Research, K.U. Leuven, Belgium
Professor Billiet is head of the Centre of Sociological Research and a member of the central co-ordination team of the European Social Survey.
Achim Koch, Centre for Survey Research and Methodology, Germany
Senior Researcher Achim Koch has been working in this area for 20 years. He was Director of the German General Social Survey between 1995 and 2004.
Rory Fitzgerald, Centre for Comparative Social Surveys, City University, UK
Senior Research Fellow Rory Fitzgerald has had many years experience working in surveying. Before moving to his current post he was Research Director at the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) for 5 years.
All four authors have published numerous articles in this area.