Surveys and Questionnaires

Bibliography of Research Methods TextsACRL IS Research and Scholarship Committee

Andres, Lesley. 2012. Designing and Doing Survey Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 208p. ISBN: 97818492008130.

This book gives an intuitive introduction to the processes and methods of conducting survey research and is a valuable source for undergraduates, graduates students or professionals new to survey research. It includes relevant examples with exercises at the end of each chapter together with a very helpful section “Preparing for Data Analysis” where it provides simple instructions on the use of SPSS. Useful “Ethics Alerts” permeate each section and introduce discussions on relevant issues to consider at different stages of the research process, linking to online resources. The “Text Box” gives access to companion texts and readings that complement the book and effectively broaden the scope of its contents. Its focus on 21st century technologies and issues make this book a relevant and a vital addition to any survey research instruction course.

– Lorna Dawes, 2013

Bethlehem, Jelke and Biffignandi, Silvia. 2011. Handbook of Web Surveys. New Jersey: Wiley. 480p. ISBN: 9780470603567.

Delving into the theoretical and practical aspects of web surveys this book provides theory, real life examples, key terms and exercises including datasets.

The first introductory chapters give samples of the first web surveys together with some unique survey applications, laying a good foundation for discussions focusing on complications exclusive to web surveys, and the practical advise on design and data collection methodology.

The detailed ‘Applications’ at the end of each chapter give the novice researcher an opportunity to reinforce the theory and the experienced researcher a chance to see the relevance of web surveys in a variety of new ways. This edition also includes a companion website providing a quick reference guide to web survey design, a simulation of an opinion poll, and access to the datasets used in the exercises.

– Lorna Dawes, 2013

Buckingham, Alan, and Saunders, Peter. 2004. The Survey Methods Workbook: From Design to Analysis. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. 309p. ISBN: 0745622445.

This text allows the reader to participate by working through every stage of the survey design process as they progress through the text. The first section Research Design, examines the method and methodology of research and the process of developing the hypothesis. In section two the authors effectively present the concepts of validity and reliability, and ways to avoid pitfalls in designing questions. They then proceed to focus on how to negotiate meaning, avoid bias, and codify the data in files created in statistics programs, giving an excellent introduction SPSS for the new student researcher. It is supplemented by a web site of electronic appendices that include summaries of key findings from the example surveys used in the book, additional information about research design and statistical tests, and a guide to further reading.

– Terry Taylor, 2006; revised by Lorna Dawes, 2013

Fowler, Floyd J. 2013. Survey Research Methods. Applied Social Research Methods Series. V1. 5th ed. London: SAGE. 184p. ISBN: 9781452259000.

Written to give researchers an insight into the concepts about sources of error in surveys, this book helps practitioners understand how managing sources of error impacts survey results. It concentrates on data collection in social surveys, including chapters that discuss procedures, standards for good practice and design decisions that go into the production of the final survey instrument. This new edition brings the book into the 21st century discussing the decline in telephone survey usage and the development and impact of the Internet on survey research. Fowler also addresses the replacement of the landline with cellphones, improvements in pre-survey evaluation techniques and other advances that have already changed or will change the future of survey research methods.

– Roxanne Bogucka, 2009; revised by Lorna Dawes, 2013

Gideon, Lior, ed. 2012. Handbook of Survey Methodology for the Social Sciences. New York: Springer. 700p. ISBN: 9781461438755.

Covering all aspects of survey design and implementation the book begins with an overview of the ways surveys can be classified, complete with an informative appendix of examples and web links.  It is a compilation of ideas and theories from 34 national and international researchers and scholars that address pertinent issues often overlooked by even the most experienced researcher. The authors offer some very insightful guidance and opinions on dealing with sensitive issues, effects of incentives on surveys, theories of survey responses and other current issues particularly relevant to the social scientist, but also applicable to researcher interested in survey methodology. The book is written with the non-statistician in mind and any librarian whether new or experience in research would find this a necessary and valuable source  to consult as they navigate the many issues involved in survey methodology and design.

– Lorna Dawes, 2013

Marsden, Peter V., and James D. Wright, eds. 2010. Handbook of Survey Research. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishers.  903p. ISBN: 9781848552241.

Marsden accurately describes this 2010 handbook as filling a ‘vital niche as a single-source compendium’ on survey research (xv). Drawing from the contribution of 48 practitioners and researchers, each section provides exceptional discussions, and statistical analysis with relevant examples. The chapters are comprehensive, and well structured, making this edition a valuable textbook or the ideal handbook for any serious researcher. Few books address as many current topics as this one. The inclusion of chapters such as  ‘Surveys and GIS’, ‘Linking Administrative and Survey Data’, ‘Panel Surveys’ and ‘Survey Experiments’ in addition to discussions on international and cross-cultural surveys, makes this book relevant and a must read for anyone teaching a research methods course, or designing surveys for their own research.

– Lorna Dawes, 2013

Nardi, Peter M. 2013. Doing Survey Research: A Guide to Quantitative Methods. 3rd ed. Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon. 275 p. ISBN: 0205446094.

This book focuses on quantitative research methods involving questionnaire surveys. It is targeted to social science students and others who perform institutional research or evaluation surveys. Written at an introductory level, cleverly, each chapter is a step in the research process, three chapters (3-5) devoted to the survey methodology, and four chapters to statistics (Ch. 6-9).  This 3rd edition includes discussions and methods on web-based surveys, updated references and readings and topics related to social media, blogs and the Internet.  To supplement the text book Nardi has included a new “Test Yourself’ section in each chapter of exercise with answers. The companion website containing a resource guide, examples and short review tests, and an instructor manual with test questions, makes this edition particularly useful to new librarians as a self-directed course in survey design, or just as a reference book in basic survey design.

– Polly D. Boruff-Jones, 2000; revised by Roxanne Bogucka, 2009; Lorna Dawes, 2013

Questionnaire research : a practical guide

Patten, Mildred L. 2014. Questionnaire Research: A Practical Guide. 4th ed. Glendale, CA: Pyrczak Publishing. 154p. ISBN: 9781936523313.

A textbook consisting of a series of brief guidelines, Patten’s Questionnaire Research is for those who want to dig into conducting questionnaire research as quickly as possible. Each chapter’s content is presented through a balance of succinct text and clear examples, closing with a review exercise. The book initiates the beginning researcher in good practice, from planning research, writing quality questionnaire items, effectively testing items and selecting a respondent population, through to analyzing and communicating data through tables and figures, and crafting written reports of research. Concluding with a useful checklist summary of the guidelines provided throughout, this book gives researchers a useful tool to check their methodology for compliance. 

– Merinda McLure, March 2006; revised by Lorna Dawes, 2013; Liz McGlynn Bellamy, 2017

Schuman, Howard. 2011. Method and Meaning in Polls and Surveys. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 232p. ISBN: 978067406043.

Method and Meaning in Polls and Surveys is a reflection on the purposes and goals of surveys and survey researchers. The book dissects questions, investigating how they are asked and worded and examines how this affects the survey responses. It begins with a discussion of the difference between survey questions and questions we ask at social events, and readers should be able to understand how open and closed questions impact the validity of the survey, and how they can increase the survey validity by using both types of questions appropriately. Schuman introduces us to a clear explanation of the use of ‘probing’ questions, their value and differing applications in surveys and polls and address issues of context and the use of other kinds of evidence. This book gives rare insight into the structure of questions and responses, and the subtle differences between polls and surveys. Not a handbook or guide, but a theoretical commentary on issues that are relevant to any researcher, regardless of their field of expertise.

– Roxanne Bogucka, 2009; revised by Lorna Dawes, 2013

Stopher, Peter. 2012. Collecting, Managing, and Assessing Data Using Sample Surveys. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 534p. ISBN: 9780521863117.

In this accessible guide to designing surveys, Stopher succeeds at taking the researcher from the “inception of the survey itself through to archiving the data” (1). Although examples are taken from the area of transport planning they illustrate the principles accurately and provide data, sample surveys, survey questions, and insight into the discussion relating to the design and methodology decisions that were made. The book concludes with some potent commentaries on the ‘Future Direction in Survey Procedures’ discussing the impact of globalization on language and literacy, the use of administrative data, and an interesting section on the use of GPS devices in conducting household travel surveys. Written for the graduate student this book would be suitable for any professional looking for a good reference in survey design and methodology.

– Lorna Dawes, 2013

Sue, Valerie M., and Lois A. Ritter. 2012.  Conducting Online Surveys. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 264p. ISBN: 9781412992251.

This supplemental text requires no foreknowledge of statistics or research methods. While it does address some universal survey issues, the focus is on topics peculiar to the email and web environment, such as: workflows and timelines, and sampling techniques and errors in online surveys; question format and phrasing, recruitment, response rate, duplication prevention and online survey ethics. The second edition updates chapter 2 by addressing three different types of digital surveys: e-mail, website and mobile surveys; expands the discussion on software including data security and anti-spam software; and adds chapter exercises and online flashcards for students. It is written for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in survey research methods.

– Roxanne Bogucka, 2009; revised by Lorna Dawes, 2013

Tourangeau, Roger, Frederick G. Conrad, and Mick Couper. 2013. The Science of Web Surveys. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 198p. ISBN: 9780199747047.

This unique book provides a review of the literature on Web data collection focusing on the scientific evidence about web surveys. The authors provide a appraisal of what is known about web surveys, and also include unpublished conference proceedings that are vital to the discussion. The chapters summarize issues, provide meta-analysis of studies, stimulate discussion and give the reader a deeper understanding of the properties of web surveys.  The book examines Sampling and Coverage, Nonresponse, Measurement issues and issues associated with combining modes. Chapter 5 “The Web as a Visual Medium” examines the impact of visual appearance and helps researchers interpret these features and use them appropriately in their survey design. The valuable ‘Recommendations for Web Surveys’ at the end of chapter 8, gives a good summary of the literature findings and should be read by everyone before they embark on any web survey research.

– Lorna Dawes, 2013

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