chapter  2
34 Pages

Internet Survey Methods: A Review of Strengths, Weaknesses, and Innovations

WithJolene D. Smyth

This chapter examines where Internet surveys have come from and how they have developed to their state. It discusses the strengths and weaknesses of Internet surveys, organized by the sources of survey error: sampling and coverage error, measurement error and nonresponse error. Coverage and sampling limitations have always been and continue to be the primary factors limiting the usefulness of the Internet as a survey mode, especially for general population surveys. Despite its coverage and sampling limitations and some of the challenges of minimizing measurement and nonresponse error, the Internet as a survey mode has grown immensely and continues to expand. A final measurement innovation is the use of Internet survey experiments to better understand various aspects of measurement. An additional feature of the Internet that has helped provide new understanding of the effects of visual design as well as other Internet survey design features is the availability of paradata.