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Survey Guidelines

Questionnaire design decisions when transitioning from an interviewer-administered to a self-administered online mode

Large-scale surveys are increasingly moving from (face-to-face or telephone-based) interviewer-administered to self-administered online modes. To ensure high measurement quality and maximum comparability and equivalence between the source questionnaire and its adaptation⸺across modes as well as across survey waves⸺various aspects of question design must be considered and several decisions need to be made concerning question presentation and wording. This survey guideline summarizes good practices on how to transition questionnaires from interviewer- to self-administered web surveys and gives recommendations and examples for major adaptation issues as well as general questionnaire design elements relevant to web surveys. In this context, we focus on the switch from an interviewer-based to an online mode (although mixed-mode designs are also conceivable).

Nießen, D., Hadler, P., & Neuert, C. (2023). Questionnaire design decisions when transitioning from an interviewer-administered to a self-administered online mode. Mannheim, GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (GESIS – Survey Guidelines). DOI: 10.15465/gesis-sg_en_046