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Subject Acquisition for Web-Based Surveys

  • R. Michael Alvarez (a1), Robert P. Sherman (a2) and Carla VanBeselaere (a3)

Abstract

This article provides a basic report about subject recruitment processes for Web-based surveys. Using data from our ongoing Internet Survey of American Opinion project, two different recruitment techniques (banner advertisement and subscription campaigns) are compared. This comparison, together with a typology of Web-based surveys, provides insight into the validity and generalizability of Internet survey data. The results from this analysis show that, although Internet survey respondents differ demographically from the American population, the relationships among variables are similar across recruitment methods and match those implied by substantive theory. Thus, our research documents the basic methodology of subject acquisition for Web-based surveys, which, as we argue in our conclusion, may soon become the survey interview mode of choice for social scientists.

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