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E-Appointments in Empirical Field Research

[journal article]

Lorenz, Christian; Homuth, Christoph; Schmitt, Monja; Karwath, Claudia

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-440537

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Abstract A time-consuming part of the organization of empirical field research is the arrangement of appointments with individual participants. Often times part of the sample is hard to reach via phone. An online appointment system to facilitate the coordination of the annual family visits was tested within the scope of a German educational panel study in 2012. The participants had the opportunity to arrange their appointment online in accordance with their own scheduling needs. Roughly one quarter (n = 63) of our sample of 242 families, who had thus far been used to arranging their appointments by phone, chose the online appointment system instead. To evaluate its usability for field research and the strength of possible sample bias, the participants were asked to complete a short questionnaire as well. We can show that personal attitudes are more significant in explaining a choice in favor of the e-appointment system than socio-demographic characteristics. Overall, the e-appointment system does not increase sample selectivity bias in our survey, so that particularly for bigger samples, it is as capable as phone based arrangement systems in getting a hold of people who are hard to reach and retaining the same high process quality, while reducing the researcher’s expenditure of time and money. (author's abstract)
Keywords quantitative method; methodological research; test construction; sample; interview; online service; response behavior; time; field research; empirical research; survey research
Classification Methods and Techniques of Data Collection and Data Analysis, Statistical Methods, Computer Methods
Method empirical; quantitative empirical; development of methods
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages 15 p.
Journal Survey Methods: Insights from the Field (2015)
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.13094/SMIF-2015-00009
ISSN 2296-4754
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works