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ERIC Number: EJ869695
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1747-938X
Comparing Response Rates in E-Mail and Paper Surveys: A Meta-Analysis
Shih, Tse-Hua; Fan, Xitao
Educational Research Review, v4 n1 p26-40 2009
This meta-analysis examined 35 study results within last 10 years that directly compared the response rates of e-mail versus mail surveys. Individual studies reported inconsistent findings concerning the response rate difference between e-mail and mail surveys, but e-mail surveys generally have lower response rate (about 20% lower on the average) than mail surveys. Two study features (population type and follow-up reminders) could account for some variation in the e-mail and mail survey response rate differences across the studies. For the studies involving college populations, the response rate difference between e-mail and mail surveys was much smaller, or even negligible, suggesting that e-mail survey is reasonably comparable with mail survey for college populations. The finding about follow-up reminder as a statistically significant study feature turns out to be somewhat an anomaly. Other study features (i.e., article type, random assignment of survey respondents into e-mail and mail survey modes, and use of incentives) did not prove to be statistically useful in accounting for the variation of response rate differences between mail and e-mail surveys. The findings here suggest that, in this age of internet technology, mail survey is still superior to e-mail survey in terms of obtaining higher response rate. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A