Increasing web survey response rates in innovation research: An experimental study of static and dynamic contact design features
AbstractWeb surveys have become increasingly central to innovation research but often suffer from low response rates. Based on a cost–benefits framework and the explicit consideration of heterogeneity across respondents, we consider the effects of key contact design features such as personalization, incentives, and the exact timing of survey contacts on web survey response rates. We also consider the benefits of a “dynamic strategy”, i.e., the approach to change features of survey contacts over the survey life cycle. We explore these effects experimentally using a career survey sent to over 24,000 junior scientists and engineers. The results show that personalization increases the odds of responding by as much as 48%, while lottery incentives with a high payoff and a low chance of winning increase the odds of responding by 30%. Furthermore, changing the wording of reminders over the survey life cycle increases the odds of a response by over 30%, while changes in contact timing (day of the week or hour of the day) did not have significant benefits. Improvements in response rates did not come at the expense of lower data quality. Our results provide novel insights into web survey response behavior and suggest useful tools for innovation researchers seeking to increase survey participation.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.
Volume (Year): 42 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol
Web surveys; Response rates; Experiment; Incentives; Personalization; Survey timing; Response bias;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ding, Waverly & Choi, Emily, 2011. "Divergent paths to commercial science: A comparison of scientists' founding and advising activities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 69-80, February.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
- Broström, Anders, 2009.
"Working with Distant Researchers - distance and content in university-industry interaction,"
Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation
173, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
- Broström, Anders, 2010. "Working with distant researchers--Distance and content in university-industry interaction," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1311-1320, December.
- Carolin Haeussler, 2010.
"Information-Sharing in Academia and the Industry: A Comparative Study,"
Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data
154, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).
- Haeussler, Carolin, 2011. "Information-sharing in academia and the industry: A comparative study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 105-122, February.
- Haeussler, Carolin, 2010. "Information-Sharing in Academia and the Industry: A Comparative Study," MPRA Paper 24415, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Henry Sauermann & Wesley M. Cohen, 2010. "What Makes Them Tick? Employee Motives and Firm Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(12), pages 2134-2153, December.
- Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario, 2009.
"Do All Material Incentives for Prosocial Activities Backfire? The Response to Cash and Non-Cash Incentives for Blood Donations,"
IZA Discussion Papers
4458, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario, 2010. "Do all material incentives for pro-social activities backfire? The response to cash and non-cash incentives for blood donations," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 738-748, August.
- Fini, Riccardo & Lacetera, Nicola & Shane, Scott, 2010. "Inside or outside the IP system? Business creation in academia," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1060-1069, October.
- Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Gustavo Manso, 2011.
"Incentives and creativity: evidence from the academic life sciences,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
RAND Corporation, vol. 42(3), pages 527-554, 09.
- Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Gustavo Manso, 2009. "Incentives and Creativity: Evidence from the Academic Life Sciences," NBER Working Papers 15466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edward P. Lazear, 2000.
"Performance Pay and Productivity,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
- Van Looy, Bart & Landoni, Paolo & Callaert, Julie & van Pottelsberghe, Bruno & Sapsalis, Eleftherios & Debackere, Koenraad, 2011. "Entrepreneurial effectiveness of European universities: An empirical assessment of antecedents and trade-offs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 553-564, May.
- Frey, Bruno S & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, 1997. "The Cost of Price Incentives: An Empirical Analysis of Motivation Crowding-Out," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 746-55, September.
- Robert M. Groves & Steven G. Heeringa, 2006. "Responsive design for household surveys: tools for actively controlling survey errors and costs," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(3), pages 439-457.
- Bruneel, Johan & D'Este, Pablo & Salter, Ammon, 2010. "Investigating the factors that diminish the barriers to university-industry collaboration," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 858-868, September.
- Elisabeth Deutskens & Ko de Ruyter & Martin Wetzels & Paul Oosterveld, 2004. "Response Rate and Response Quality of Internet-Based Surveys: An Experimental Study," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 21-36, 02.
- Franzoni, Chiara & Scellato, Giuseppe & Stephan, Paula, 2014. "The mover’s advantage: The superior performance of migrant scientists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 89-93.
- Sauermann, Henry & Roach, Michael, 2014. "Not all scientists pay to be scientists: PhDs’ preferences for publishing in industrial employment," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 32-47.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.