Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods

Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods

  • Paul J. Lavrakas - Independent Consultant and Former Chief Research Methodologist for The Nielsen Company, Independent Consultant

© 2008 | 1 072 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
To the uninformed, surveys appear to be an easy type of research to design and conduct, but when students and professionals delve deeper, they encounter the vast complexities that the range and practice of survey methods present. To complicate matters, technology has rapidly affected the way surveys can be conducted; today, surveys are conducted via cell phone, the Internet, email, interactive voice response, and other technology-based modes. Thus, students, researchers, and professionals need both a comprehensive understanding of these complexities and a revised set of tools to meet the challenges.

In conjunction with top survey researchers around the world and with Nielsen Media Research serving as the corporate sponsor, the Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods presents state-of-the-art information and methodological examples from the field of survey research. Although there are other "how-to" guides and references texts on survey research, none is as comprehensive as this Encyclopedia, and none presents the material in such a focused and approachable manner. With more than 600 entries, this resource uses a Total Survey Error perspective that considers all aspects of possible survey error from a cost-benefit standpoint.
Key Features
  • Covers all major facets of survey research methodology, from selecting the sample design and the sampling frame, designing and pretesting the questionnaire, data collection, and data coding, to the thorny issues surrounding diminishing response rates, confidentiality, privacy, informed consent and other ethical issues, data weighting, and data analyses
  • Presents a Reader's Guide to organize entries around themes or specific topics and easily guide users to areas of interest
  • Offers cross-referenced terms, a brief listing of Further Readings, and stable Web site URLs following most entries
The Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods is specifically written to appeal to beginning, intermediate, and advanced students, practitioners, researchers, consultants, and consumers of survey-based information.

"Thousands of articles and books have been written in the field of survey research methodology. Among them are three volumes by G. R. Walden: Polling and Survey Research Methods (CH, Apr'97, 34-4229), Public Opinion Polls and Survey Research (CH, Sep'90, 28-0054), and Survey Research Methodology, 1990-1999 (CH, May'03, 40-4991). But only Lavrakas and his team of over 320 contributors have provided encyclopedic coverage with this publication of over 640 entries. Many well-known and heavily published authors in survey research participated. Lavrakas has had a distinguished career in both the academic and commercial realm (notably with The Nielsen Company, the corporate sponsor for this work). The volumes are accessible to a wide range of users, starting with the uninitiated and moving through the continuum to advanced researchers. This set is well designed, with a list of entries and a "Reader's Guide" that divides the subject into nine main categories that are then subdivided. The front matter includes a roster, and a lengthy index appears at the end of volume 2. Unfortunately, no contributor index is included to allow readers to determine who wrote which section; however, the entries are all signed within the encyclopedia. The well-written entries cover the body of research thoroughly. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers."

G. R. Walden
Ohio State University
CHOICE magazine
Key features
  • More than 600 encyclopedia entries (broken out approximately as follows: 75 long entries of 2,000 words; 450 medium entries of 1,000 words; 75 biographies and definitional entries of 400 words)
  • Reader's Guide (following the list of entries) to organize entries around themes or specific topics and easily guide users to areas of interest
  • Cross-referenced terms, brief listing of further readings, and stable website URLs if and when available will follow most entries (whenever appropriate)
  • Appendices that may include a general bibliography to build on "Further Readings," an annotated list of organizations relevant to survey research, and sample survey designs and actual instruments to further offer the user guidance in designing his or her own research

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ISBN: 9781412918084

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