ERIC Number: ED308208
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Interpreting Nonresponse in Survey Research: Methodological Heresy?
Clark, Sheldon B.; Finn, Michael G.
A study is proposed that seeks to use the normally problematic factor of non-response to a survey in a positive way in order to estimate certain characteristics of a population subgroup. A longitudinal database, the Scientific and Technical Personnel Data System (STPDS) measures the educational, demographic, and employment characteristics of the nation's scientists and engineers. An examination of response trends for STPDS surveys reveals that response rates for foreign-born scientists and engineers deteriorate at a faster rate over time than do the response rates of those born in the United States. It is hypothesized that emigration accounts for these differences, and that the difference in the rates of decline of response rates can be used as a proxy for emigration of scientists. Two very different approaches have been developed and will be used to test the hypothesis and to validate the proposed technique. Although this methodology is not generalizable to all surveys, it does illustrate the importance of a researcher's being thoroughly familiar with the survey population and the importance of being open to the possibility that challenging and testing the precepts of the practice of survey research can result in improvements in methodology. Three bar graphs give information about the proposed study. (SLD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Energy, Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Oak Ridge Associated Universities, TN.