NEWS18 January 2010

Esomar publishes draft mobile research guidelines


NETHERLANDS— Esomar has released a set of draft guidelines that aim to address legal, ethical and practical questions about research conducted via mobile phones.

The industry association says the guidelines will serve as a framework for a subsequent series of FAQs that will address methodological issues including measurement, weighting, non-response, coverage and sampling.

Esomar said that it was aware that online and email-based surveys could be carried out by mobile phone, but the draft guidelines only apply to telephone and text message-based research.

The guidelines set out a number of responsibilities researchers have towards respondents – once they have checked with relevant national laws and regulations – before they can start asking questions.

Esomar says researchers must check that respondents are safe to take the call and are not driving, operating machinery or walking in a public space. They must also check that the person they are calling is not in a work or social setting that could compromise confidentiality.

The researcher must also offer to reimburse the cost of the call if their respondent faces ‘roaming’ charges from being in another country when they take the call.

The full draft guidelines can be found here.