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The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology

The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology

Edited by:
  • Christof Wolf - GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany
  • Dominique Joye - University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Tom W Smith - University of Chicago, USA, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, USA, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA
  • Yang-chih Fu - Academia Sinica

August 2016 | 740 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Survey Methodology is becoming a more structured field of research, deserving of more and more academic attention. The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology explores both the increasingly scientific endeavour of surveys and their growing complexity, as different data collection modes and information sources are combined.

The handbook takes a global approach, with a team of international experts looking at local and national specificities, as well as problems of cross-national, comparative survey research. The chapters are organized into seven major sections, each of which represents a stage in the survey life-cycle:

  • Surveys and Societies
  • Planning a Survey
  • Measurement
  • Sampling
  • Data Collection
  • Preparing Data for Use
  • Assessing and Improving Data Quality

The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology is a landmark and essential tool for any scholar within the social sciences.  

Part I: Basic Principles
Yang-chih Fu, Dominique Joye, Tom W. Smith and Christof Wolf
1. Introduction
Tom W. Smith
2. Survey standards
Lars E. Lyberg and Herbert F. Weisberg
3. Total survey error: a paradigm for survey methodology
Timothy P. Johnson and Michael Braun
4. Challenges of comparative survey research
Part II: Surveys and Societies
Claire Durand
5. Surveys and society
Geert Loosveldt and Dominique Joye
6. Defining and assessing survey climate
Kathy Joe, Finn Raben and Adam Phillips
7. The Ethical issues of survey and market research
Kathleen A. Frankovic
8. Observations on the historical development of polling
Part III: Planning a Survey
Ben Jann and Thomas Hinz
9. Research question and designs for survey research
Paul P. Biemer
10. Total survey error paradigm: : Theory and Practice
Edith de Leeuw and Jernej Berzelak
11. Survey mode or survey modes?
Beth-Ellen Pennell and Kristen Cibelli-Hibben
12. Surveying in multi-cultural and multi-national contexts
Zeina N. Mneimneh, Beth-Ellen Pennell, Jennifer Kelley and Kristen Cibelli-Hibben
13. Surveys in societies in turmoil
Part IV: Measurement
Jaak Billiet
14. What does Measurement Mean in a Survey Context?
Kristen Miller and Gordon B. Willis
15. Cognitive models of answering processes
Jolene D. Smyth
16. Designing questions and questionnaires
Melanie Revilla, Diana Zavala-Rojas and Willem Saris
17. Creating a good question: how to use cumulative experience
Don A. Dillman and Michelle L. Edwards
18. Designing a mixed-mode survey
Dorothée Behr and Kuniaki Shishido
19. The Translation of Measurement Instruments for Cross-cultural Surveys
Silke Schneider, Dominique Joye and Christof Wolf
20. When Translation is not Enough: Background Variables in Comparative Surveys
Part V: Sampling
Yves Tillé and Alina Matei
21. Basics of sampling for survey research
Vasja Vehovar, Vera Toepoel and Stephanie Steinmetz
22. Nonprobability sampling
Siegfried Gabler and Sabine Häder
23. Special challenges of sampling for comparative surveys
Part VI: Data Collection
Gordon B. Willis
24. Questionnaire pretesting
Annelies G. Blom
25. Survey fieldwork
François Laflamme and James Wagner
26. Responsive and adaptive designs
Ineke A. L. Stoop
27. Unit nonresponse
Michèle Ernst Stähli and Dominique Joye
28. Incentives as a possible measure to increase response rates
Part VII: Preparing Data for Use
Mary Vardigan, Peter Granda and Lynette Hoelter
29. Documenting Survey Data Across the Life Cycle
Pierre Lavallée and Jean-François Beaumont
30. Weighting: principles and practicalities
Stephanie Eckman and Brady T. West
31. Analysis of data from stratified and clustered surveys
Heike Wirth
32. Analytical Potential Versus Data Confidentiality – Finding the Optimal Balance
Christof Wolf, Silke L. Schneider, Dorothée Behr and Dominique Joye
33. Harmonizing Survey Questions Between Cultures and Over Time
Part VIII: Assessing and Improving Data Quality
Duane F. Alwin
34. Survey data quality and measurement precision
Jelke Bethlehem and Barry Schouten
35. Nonresponse error: detection and correction
Caroline Roberts
36. Response styles in surveys: understanding their causes and mitigating their impact
Martin Spiess
37. Dealing with missing values
Victor Thiessen and Jörg Blasius
38. Another Look at Survey Data Quality
Jan Cieciuch, Eldad Davidov, Peter Schmidt and René Algesheimer
39. Assessment of cross-cultural comparability
Part IX: Further Issues
Lynette Hoelter, Amy Pienta and Jared Lyle
40. Data preservation, secondary analysis, and replication: learning from existing data
Rainer Schnell
41. Record linkage
Jessica Fortin-Rittberger, David Howell, Stephen Quinlan and Bojan Todosijevic
42. Supplementing cross-national surveys with contextual data
Tom W. Smith and Yang-chih Fu
43. The Globalization of surveys

This exciting new handbook provides a comprehensive guide to conducting survey research studies.  Authored by a distinguished set of experts from across the globe, chapters cover all phases of survey projects—from conceiving, designing and planning, through sampling, measurement, and data collection, to post-fieldwork data processing, data augmentation, and quality assessment.  Extensive attention to multi-national or cross-cultural survey projects is a special asset:  both challenges to comparability in such studies, and current practices to achieving it in vital domains including sampling, translation, and harmonization of data over space and time, are treated in depth.


Peter V. Marsden
Department of Sociology, Harvard University

The environment for conducting surveys has changed substantially in the last several decades.  New approaches to data collection and data dissemination are required, but the approaches must be adapted depending on country and culture.  This Sage handbook is an up-to-date reference that covers virtually all steps in the survey life cycle.  It contains methodological topics like survey modes, surveying in multicultural and cross-cultural contexts, questionnaire design and pretesting, and responsive design, along with statistical topics like sampling, weighting, analysis of complex surveys, and record linkage.  Coverage of distinctive areas, like ethical issues, surveys in conflict areas, question translation, and harmonization of questions across cultures, also set this book apart from others.  The handbook will be a valuable reference for survey practitioners and other professionals who need a broad overview of the many steps required to conduct high quality surveys. 

Richard Valliant
Research Professor, Universities of Michigan and Maryland USA

The new Sage Handbook broadens our view of survey research by including topics important for data sharing and reuse.  Data are expensive public resources, and we need more attention on issues like disclosure risk, harmonization, life-cycle documentation, and preservation.

George Alter
Professor of History, University of Michigan

"The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology is a useful resource for researchers and individuals who want to learn about the process of surveying. In an era where surveying is so hotly debated, the handbook comes at an important moment in history. This book is recommended for academic libraries."

S. Mofford

"This thorough volume provides extensive information on understanding and creating surveys. Its 43 chapters cover important topics such as types of surveys (face-to-face, mail, internet), designing questions for surveys, sampling, administering surveys, handling ethical issues, combining administrative and survey data, and analyzing data from surveys... Summing Up: Highly recommended. Faculty and professionals"

J. P Hoffmann
Brigham Young University

The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology is a valuable compendium and reference reflecting a broad range of expertise from the survey world and beyond.The authors of the 43 chapters represent a diverse group of institutions, mainly from the United States and Europe, and bring a deep expertise on their given “assignments. For those whose research depends on the quality of survey data, especially in an international context, the Handbook is a solid and dependable anchor.

Joe Murphy
Public Opinion Quarterly

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