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US Bodies Combine for Online Panel Guidelines

September 9 2008

A number of US research associations have come together to establish guidelines and metrics to promote high quality online panel research.

Under the banner of ACE (Association Collaborative Effort), the collaboration of five associations has a combined membership of more than 40,000 individuals and 1,000 corporations representing all segments of the research industry. ACE members currently include:

  • The AMA (American Marketing Association)
  • ARF (Advertising Research Foundation)
  • CASRO (Council of American Survey Research Organizations)
  • CMOR (Council for Marketing and Opinion Research) and
  • MRA (Marketing Research Association)
ACE’s immediate task is to develop a set of guidelines and metrics that will address key components and processes of online panel research. These guidelines will emphasize transparency, as well as describing best practices for high-quality online panel research procedures.

Association research-on-research studies to benchmark best practice are already underway through ARF’s Foundations of Quality initiative, which seeks to establish a fact-based resource of knowledge on online data quality.

The ACE leadership team notes: ‘The objective of ACE is to ensure that all online panel researchers and users, no matter the industry segment or the association affiliation, share a set of understood and accepted process and performance guidelines.’

Ultimately, the associations plan to expand their focus beyond online data quality to research quality in general, including guidance on ‘fitness for use’ methodology selection, and to other industry issues that are deemed ripe for co-operation.

In addition, ACE will be co-ordinating with international quality initiatives to ensure that the global research community has a uniform view of online panel research processes and procedures and a consistent application of standards. Its international collaboration will focus on the ESOMAR quality initiative, the WIN (World Industry Network) effort, and EFAMRO’s work on the ISO quality standard for access panels.

A Progress Report for association members and the industry at large is being planned before the end of 2008, and the introduction of the ACE Panel Guidelines and Metrics is scheduled for 2009.

Web sites: www.marketingpower.com , www.thearf.org , www.casro.org , www.cmor.org and www.mra-net.org .
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