Quality and Quantity

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 435–456 | Cite as

Conducting Online Surveys

  • Martine Van SelmEmail author
  • Nicholas W. Jankowski


The World Wide Web (WWW) is increasingly being used as a tool and platform for survey research. Two types of electronic or online surveys available for data collection are the email and Web based survey, and they constitute the focus of this paper. We address a multitude of issues researchers should consider before and during the use of this method of data collection: advantages and liabilities with this form of survey research, sampling problems, questionnaire design considerations, suggestions in approaching potential respondents, response rates and aspects of data processing. Where relevant, the methodological issues involved are illustrated with examples from our own research practice. This methods review shows that most challenges are resolved when taking into account the principles that guide the conduct of conventional surveys.


online survey Web based survey email survey research methods review sampling procedures response rate 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social Science Research Methodology, Faculty of Social SciencesRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of CommunicationRadboud University NijmegenThe Netherlands

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