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ESOMAR and GRBN Publish Online Research Guidelines

March 26 2015

Industry organisations ESOMAR and the Global Research Business Network (GRBN) have published new online research guidelines, which focus on ensuring the integrity of sample quality.

Finn Raben and Andrew CannonThe new Guideline for Online Sample Quality (GOSQ) provides best practice guidance to help users and providers understand how evolving approaches to online sampling can impact and potentially compromise data quality.

According to the two organisations, online sampling accounts for more than a quarter (28%) of global market and social research revenues at $9.7bn, more than telephone and face-to-face surveying combined. However, the number of professional research participants who enter multiple surveys to secure incentives, is causing concerns about integrity of the research data. In addition, the proliferation of mobile devices is posing challenges for online researchers - specifically in terms of bias.

ESOMAR and GRBN say the guideline is recommended reading for all stakeholders in the research process, from survey designers to data users. Issues addressed include:

  • Research participant validation - ensuring the respondent falls within the description of the research sample.
  • Survey fraud prevention - ensuring the same person cannot receive more incentives by completing a survey more than once.
  • Survey engagement - is the respondent paying sufficient attention to the questionnaire and understanding the questions being asked.
  • Category exclusions - removing from the sample respondents who might bias the results.
  • Transparency of sampling - building confidence in the likely accuracy of data quality and representativeness of the target sample.
Finn Raben, Director General of ESOMAR, comments: 'This guideline is designed to help data users to understand the issues affecting online sample quality and so they can make judgements with full confidence.'

GRBN Executive Director Andrew Cannon says the two organisations are planning to work with the industry to publish further guidelines in fields such as social media and mobile research.

Web sites: www.esomar.org and www.grbn.org .

All articles 2006-22 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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