NEWS26 March 2015

Guidelines launched for online research integrity

News UK

UK — ESOMAR and the Global Research Business Network (GRBN) have launched new guidelines for brands and marketers providing advice and techniques for ensuring the integrity of sample quality used in online research. 

The guidelines set out best practice to help users and providers understand how evolving approaches to online sampling can impact and potentially compromise data quality.

Online sampling accounts for more than a quarter ( 28%) of global market and social research revenues at $9.7bn, more than telephone and face-to-face surveying combined. It is now the main research model in the world’s top ten research markets (except France and China). 

But the rapid growth of online research has been accompanied by concerns about the integrity of the data because of the number of professional research participants who enter multiple surveys to secure incentives or money, inattentive or untruthful respondents, unrepresentative target groups and the potential for duplicated respondents.

Another area of concern is from newer techniques such as ‘river sampling’ – recruiting samples from real-time adverts or offers – which can make it harder to validate respondent identities and their relevance to the target population.

The Guideline addresses the key issues of: research participant validation; survey fraud prevention; engagement; category exclusions and transparency of sampling.