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Recruitment, Participation, and Sampling: Researchers' Results in General Practice

Presenter 1
Thomas Lindsay
University of Minnesota
Presenter 2
Andrew M. Sell
University of Minnesota

Theoretical works on survey methodology lay out best practices and expected outcomes for researchers who wish to conduct social science research projects. While national surveys and other large-scale projects have the resources to ensure best practice, most social science researchers face compromises relating to cost, time, and availability of respondents. Over the past five years Survey Services at the University of Minnesota's College of Liberal Arts has conducted surveys for approximately 200 research projects using a variety of methods, with divergent outcomes. Using the metadata from these research projects, we have begun to test a variety of theoretical tenets of survey methodology against the empirical outcomes of the projects we have supported. Additionally, we are working with some of our researchers to experimentally test specific approaches to sampling and recruitment. In our presentation we will compare outcomes of various methodological choices made by our researchers. We will also discuss the results of our experimental tests within the framework of theoretical best practices and expectations.

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