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Is it a good idea to optimise question format for mode of data collection? Results from a mixed modes experiment


  • Nicolaas, Gerry
  • Campanelli, Pamela C.
  • Hope, Steven
  • Jäckle, Annette
  • Lynn, Peter


It is common practice to adapt the format of a question to the mode of data collection. Multi-coded questions in self-completion and face-to-face modes tend to be transformed for telephone into a series of ’yes/no’ questions. Questions with response scales are often branched in telephone interviews, that is, converted into two or more questions, each with shorter response lists. There has been limited research into the impact of these format differences on measurement, particularly across modes. We analyse data from an experiment that contrasted these question formats in face-to-face, telephone and web surveys. The study also included a cognitive interviewing follow-up to further explore the quantitative findings.

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  • Nicolaas, Gerry & Campanelli, Pamela C. & Hope, Steven & Jäckle, Annette & Lynn, Peter, 2011. "Is it a good idea to optimise question format for mode of data collection? Results from a mixed modes experiment," ISER Working Paper Series 2011-31, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2011-31

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gerry Nicolaas & Peter Lynn, 2002. "Random-digit dialling in the UK: viability revisited," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 165(2), pages 297-316.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hope, Steven & Campanelli, Pamela C. & Nicolaas, Gerry & Lynn, Peter & Jäckle, Annette, 2014. "The role of the interviewer in producing mode effects: results from a mixed modes experiment comparing face-to-face, telephone and web administration," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-20, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Stuart Campbell, 2013. "Over-education among A8 migrants in the UK," DoQSS Working Papers 13-09, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    3. Vannieuwenhuyze, Jorre T.A. & Lynn, Peter, 2014. "Measurement effects between CAPI and Web questionnaires in the UK Household Longitudinal Study," Understanding Society Working Paper Series 2014-01, Understanding Society at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.

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