Five. Web Surveys and Other Modes of Data Collection

  1. Jelke Bethlehem1 and
  2. Silvia Biffignandi2

Published Online: 4 OCT 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781118121757.ch5

Handbook of Web Surveys

Handbook of Web Surveys

How to Cite

Bethlehem, J. and Biffignandi, S. (2011) Web Surveys and Other Modes of Data Collection, in Handbook of Web Surveys, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118121757.ch5

Author Information

  1. 1

    Statistics Netherlands, Division of Methodology and Quality, The Netherlands

  2. 2

    University of Bergamo, Center for Statistics and Analysis of Sample Surveys, Bergamo, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 OCT 2011
  2. Published Print: 21 OCT 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470603567

Online ISBN: 9781118121757



  • computer-assisted surveys;
  • computer-assisted web interviewing (CAWI);
  • data collection modes;
  • face-to-face survey;
  • telephone survey;
  • web surveys


The rapid emergence and diffusion of the Internet in the 1990s has led to a new mode of data collection: the web survey, sometimes also called computer-assisted web interviewing (CAWI). The costs of a survey will be determined by many different factors. Quality is another aspect. This chapter focuses on the quality dimension ‘accuracy’ and ‘reliability’. It considers various data collection modes. A face-to-face survey is a mode of data collection where interviewers visit the homes of the respondents, or another location convenient for the respondent. A telephone survey is a mode of data collection where interviewers call selected persons by telephone. Interviewer-assisted surveys perform less well with respect to answering questions about sensitive topics. Computer-assisted surveys may have consistency checks in the questionnaire. Respondents complete the questionnaire themselves in mail surveys. Web surveys combine some aspects of self-administered surveys and computer-assisted surveys.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

computer assisted personal interviewing; Computer-assisted surveys; data collection; Face-to-face survey; Sampling; telephone interviews; Telephone survey; Web surveys