For research to do what it’s intended to do and make a widespread impact, it’s important that the data obtained be relevant. This type of data usually comes from survey-based methods on personal and institutional levels. But because it’s qualitative in nature, it is automatically subject to human errors and biases.
This natural human flaw mandates that guidelines be set in place when conducting any type of survey-based research. These frameworks encourage researchers to make sure they are using rigorous survey methods that focus on quality throughout the entire process.
High Standards of Quality in Survey-Based Research
Survey-based research occurs when data is collected by approaching individuals and asking them questions. This method can be through face-to-face contact, over the phone, via paper correspondence, or through digital data collection. The intent of survey research is to gather individual opinions or beliefs regarding a topic through a preset group of a specific demographic based on the research in question and the researcher’s belief in those that make a difference to or benefit from the outcome.
When high standards of quality arise in survey-based research, data can be obtained from all over the world quickly and efficiently. This high-quality data is clearly transparent and trustworthy, making the research outcome accurate.
Another advantage of survey-based research is that it can be performed at a low cost, but focusing on cost over quality is a disadvantageous step to take. Instead, additional expenses must be undertaken to ensure high standards of quality are in place so that an accurate response and higher rate of response are measured and no data is skewed or biased.
Conflicts of Interest in Survey-Based Research
When quality isn’t the focus, it’s possible to deter participants without meaning to by creating conflicts of interest between the participant and the researcher. This occurs when the two parties are not on the same page because the researcher did not do their job fully before approaching the participant.
Conflicts of interest can arise due to factors such as an unclear informed consent policy. If the participant isn’t fully apprised of how their role in the research will be used, they may be unwilling to answer the questions truthfully. This can also happen when the subject is not informed as to their privacy rights and how their anonymity will be obtained. When a participant is unsure as to how their honest answer can be used against them, it can create a conflict of interest where they are more concerned about providing a safe response than an accurate one.
These conflicts of interest must be prevented by the researcher prior to approaching the subject in order to maintain quality of the data collected through survey-based methods.
Guidelines to Ensure Quality is the Focus in Surveys
When the data collection methods are rushed, the quality of that data is sacrificed. Instead, researchers should ensure they follow these guidelines to focus on maintaining quality throughout the project:
● Before creating data collection procedures and documentation, make sure you have specific goals for them to meet and take each step in the process slowly to keep those goals in sight.
● Use multiple forms of data beyond surveys to balance your research.
● Carefully choose the population samples that you will include in your studies and ensure they are balanced.
● Avoid using cost-control measures when you are collecting your data samples.
● Use vocabulary and wording that are accurate to the concept you’re trying to collect but that your target population will be comfortable with, and submit these final questions to a pretest focus group before sending them to your actual participants.
● Make sure that the informed consent practices, including ethical treatment of all, are being followed through every stage by you and any interviewers you have involved in the data collection process.
● Ensure all reporting techniques are appropriate though every stage and that all methods of your survey collection responses are transparently disclosed in your final submission.
With all of these guidelines in place, you can assure yourself and others that the data you receive is high quality and trustworthy.
Turning Your Survey-Based Research into Published Work With Impactio
Now that you have obtained all of your data through your survey-based research, analyzed it, and come to an outcome, it’s time to get your findings out to the world. When you’re ready to make a widespread impact with your publication, turn to Impactio to showcase your research.
Impactio is an all-in-one program used by academic experts around the world to compile research work into a professional profile. With Impactio, the hard work is already done and you can easily transfer your accomplishments to ready to use templates, publish your work, and track its impact through citation indicators.
Everything the academic researcher needs is available in Impactio’s platform, so it’s no wonder this program is the go-to for researchers everywhere!