The past, present and future challenges of improving web survey methodology

Date: 20/05/2014

Time: 12:15-13:30

Location: Room L1-128

Speaker: Dr. Stephanie Steinmetz


The presentation will provide an overview of the achievements of the project “Improving web survey methodology for the social and cultural sciences”.

The first part of the presentation will focus on findings with regard to methodological challenges. The increasing popularity of web surveys triggered a heated debate about the quality of web surveys for scientific use. Obviously, web surveys may have the disadvantage of not being representative because the sub-population with Internet access is quite specific. Therefore, different weighting techniques, such as post-stratification and propensity score adjustment (PSA), have been proposed, particularly with regard to non-probability-based web surveys. The main focus within the project was to examine the potentials and constraints of different weighting procedures for a worldwide continuous volunteer web survey.

The project also aimed to explore the effect of web technologies on the community of sociologists and web-survey researchers. Hence, the second part of the presentation will summarize findings of a literature analysis that sheds light on the discussion whether the technological changes in collecting and analyzing data has led to a crisis in empirical sociology. The presentation will conclude with an outlook to upcoming challenges survey methodologists and sociologists will be facing.