The survey design, that, is the operational and methodological implementation of a survey, is a crucial survey factor - beyond the development of the survey instrument. It is a central component of social science research and includes the type of data collection, specific aspects of conducting the survey, and the scientific documentation of the collected data. Our GESIS experts are available to provide you with advice and support during this phase of your research project. We offer both consulting on selected topics as well as a the "complete package" of our services - specifically tailored to your consulting needs.
There are numerous decisions to be made when planning a survey: Depending on your research question, you need to decide which survey design to use, for example, whether a longitudinal study or a cross-sectional study is appropriate. Furthermore, the question arises as to which survey mode is suitable - should the respondents be surveyed face-to-face, by telephone, by mail or online? Should the data be collected in one mode only or is it necessary to combine several modes?
When implementing a survey, aspects such as contacting the respondents, planning incentives or monitoring fieldwork need to be taken into account, while also considering the available resources. Our GESIS experts will provide consulting on all aspects of survey implementation, especially also with regard to the particularities of mixed-mode and mixed-device surveys (the latter being online surveys for which respondents use different devices, such as a smartphone or a desktop computer).
Comprehensive and thorough documentation of both the data collection process and of data preparation is essential in scientific research projects - it is the only way to ensure that research is reproducible and transparent. With this in mind, our consulting services on survey design therefore also include survey documentation and supplementary data quality analyses.
When planning the survey design, it can be useful to enrich the survey data with process data or with data from other sources. Such an addition can significantly expand the analysis potential. For example, paradata, that is, information on the survey process itself, can be collected during the survey (e.g., the type of device that is used for responding; response times for individual questions, or mouse movements on the screen). Another option is to add social media data. Our experts will advise you on how to proceed when collecting additional data. Please note, however, that we do not offer advice on legal aspects.
We have compiled various sets of information and hands-on guidelines on frequently occurring consulting topics. These already answer many questions that may arise when planning a study and collecting data. You can find this information under Basic Knowledge.
Our consulting services in the form of 'helping you to help yourself' are free of charge. Additionally, we are happy to support you with more in-depth services, which are fee-based. You will find further information in our pricing overview. (74 kB)
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A suitable introduction to this topic and an initial overview of possible solutions can be found in the Survey Guidelines: