Written with the needs and goals of a novice researcher in mind, this fully updated Third Edition of Designing Surveys by Johnny Blair, Ronald F. Czaja, and Edward A. Blair provides an accurate account of how modern surveys are actually designed and conducted. Much more than a “how-to” guide, this up-to-date and accessible book presents the material in a social science context and teaches readers to think through decisions about sample design, questionnaire development, and data collection, rather than simply following prescriptive advice that may not be appropriate to particular practical situations. In addition to providing examples of alternative procedures, Designing Surveys shows how classic principles and recent research guide decision-making—from setting the basic features of the survey design to implementing instrument development, testing, and data collection. The new edition covers new developments in data collection technologies, provides a more comprehensive treatment of questionnaire development and pretesting, and includes completely new chapters on sample design and selection.
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I’ve just added a short review of Blair et al (2014) to my Survey Methods Textbooks page.
http://surveyresearch.weebly.com/survey-methods-textbooks.html Definitely a Which? Best Buy and will be the preferred course text on my site.
I have no hesitation in recommending this book as a preferred course text at post-graduate level or for in-house training. It’s far superior to anything else on the market and sits nicely between Andres (2012) and Marsden and Wright (2010). Whereas some books tend to be more academic (and sometimes based on limited, if any, serious experience of actually doing surveys) this book is written by people who do surveys for a living, one of them for forty years.
With its combination of accumulated wisdom and narrative skill, it’s easy (and fulfilling) to read, and you can barely see the joins. It has been written by very experienced fellow professionals used to dealing with operational practicalities, spiced with (just enough, but not too much) theory and thankfully few equations (formulae are immediately off-putting for students in sociology and similar areas).
One or two key references are missing from the bibliography and there are no mentions of major British or European surveys which have already addressed some of the methodological issues raised in the book, but these omissions in no way detract from its value.
The book is peppered with URLs, but there is no companion website so you'll have to type them all in yourself. The frequent checklists and detailed advice in the book, plus the dozens of real examples and summary case studies, convinced me that survey research is a discipline in its own right, that the best survey researchers do it well intuitively (not from text-books) and that questionnaire design is an art rather than a science. There's nothing on data analysis as such, but there is no shortage of textbooks and on-line resources for that, including those on this site..
If you are serious about learning or doing survey research, buy your own copy now.
PLANNING THE SURVEY THE HIERARCHY OF DECISIONS
DATA COLLECTION I SELECTING A METHOD
SAMPLING I CONCEPTS OF SAMPLE REPRESENTATION AND SAMPLE QUALITY
SAMPLING II POPULATION DEFINITION AND SAMPLING FRAMES
SAMPLING III SAMPLE SIZE AND SAMPLE DESIGN
USING MODELS IN SAMPLING
COGNITIVE INTERVIEWING WORKSHOP
DATA COLLECTION II CONTROLLING ERROR IN DATA COLLECTION
AN OVERVIEW OF ORGANIZATION SURVEYS
POSTSURVEY STATISTICAL ADJUSTMENTS AND THE METHODOLOGY REPORT
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT SURVEY
MARYLAND CRIME SURVEY
AAPOR CODE OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS AND PRACTICES REVISED MAY 2010
INTERNET RESOURCES FOR SURVEY RESEARCH METHODS
Other editions - View all
Designing Surveys: A Guide to Decisions and Procedures
Johnny Blair,Ronald F. Czaja,Edward A. Blair
Limited preview - 2013