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Published 2003 | public
Journal Article Open

Subject Acquisition for Web-Based Surveys


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.

Additional Information

© 2003 by the Society for Political Methodology We thank the IBM Corporation's University Matching Grants Program, the USC-Caltech Center for the Study of Law and Politics, and Caltech for their support of this research. Garrett Glasgow and audience members at the 2001 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association provided excellent commentary on this research, as did participants at the Fall 2001 meetings of the Southern California Political Methodology Program at the University of California, Riverside. Dorothy Kaslow, Chris Malek, and Catherine Wilson all provided assistance with various components of this research. We also thank Chey Hahn and ValueClick, Inc.'s UltraLeads e-mail model; finally, we thank Michael Halberstam, Alice Strauss, and Michel Meeks of Interviewing Services of America, Inc., for their assistance with our telephone interviewing research.


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