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Introduction to the ESRC Question Bank Julie Lamb Department of Sociology University of Surrey.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to the ESRC Question Bank Julie Lamb Department of Sociology University of Surrey."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to the ESRC Question Bank Julie Lamb Department of Sociology University of Surrey

2 Aims of the presentation Introduction The Question Bank – a brief introduction Advantages and disadvantages of using available questions The Survey Link Scheme

3 What is the Qb? Established in 1996 when there were few online survey resources and questionnaires were often hard to find – 2005 part of Centre for Applied Social Surveys Now a stand alone resource funded by ESRC at the University of Surrey

4 Who is it for? Aimed at; Researchers devising survey questions Secondary data analysts Teachers and students of research methods

5 Qb Key Aims 1.Bridge the gap of understanding between survey professionals and academic researchers; 2.Provide standardised quantitative measures of key variables; 3.Capture key survey instruments; and 4.Be freely available online (no registration)

6 What material do we hold? –Questionnaires from important social surveys –Question background material –Commentary on topics and concepts –NO DATA! Three main areas of the site; –Surveys –Topics –Resources

7 Surveys Main Menu Alphabetical List Type and Coverage Questionnaire years held Data source Overviews Original source Introduction and history Methods Further Info (including a link to the data) Resource Map Information held about the survey on the Qb Topics associated Web Links QUESTIONNAIRES!

8 Questionnaires All in original format CAPI PDF files for easy download Chunked for easy navigation Related material, e.g. diaries, advance letters

9 Topics 22 Key social science topic areas Commentary on social measurement in those areas Key Variables chapters Links Bibliographies

10 Resources All about the QB! (User Guide) CAPI explained Harmonisation Booklets Survey Link Scheme Teaching presentations Contact details

11 Searching the QB 40,000 pages, 57 Surveys, 21 Topics = A lot of material !! Three strategies –Surveys menu (going directly to the required file) –Topics menu –The Search Engine

12 The Search Engine –Indexes entire site everyday and creates a database for user to search –Searches HTML and PDF documents –Highlights ALL keywords –Directs you to the file (you need Adobe Reader) -Search by Year and Survey if desired




16 The Future Qb New funding period began November 2005 Expanded funding to provide 2 new research staff, one full time administrator and a part time administrator

17 Priorities for Nov 2005 – Aug 08 Updating and expansion of existing content Work to enhance the Topic area of the site Include a limited selection of European surveys Research into how CAPI should be represented Research into the effects on users of the DDI (nb – Qb has now joined the DDI alliance) Continue to outreach to UK and International academic and research communities

18 Uses of questions –Ready-made questions –Traceable route – from analysis back to questions –Check for validity and reliability of questions –Use existing questions to develop concepts

19 Using Questions… Examples of Question use by researchers: –Locating specific variable in a dataset –Taking example of questions from existing surveys –Finding out about a survey not carried out in your department / research area –Tendering for a survey –Responding to queries from policy makers

20 Advantages The questions are likely to be good indicators of the original measurement concept, and include response categories In many cases you can see the response rates to the question using NESSTAR Savings in terms of; –Costs – no developers needed –Time – researching and testing –No pilot testing needed of individual questions (still of the whole questionnaire though) Comparisons to other surveys in the field Look at the show cards, advance letters, survey design and so on



23 Disadvantages Might not find exactly what you need (or may measure wrong concept) Copyright issues (especially with instruments) Need a very good understanding of the original context (takes time to read and find) Context within the Blaise questionnaire (routing)

24 What does a CAPI questionnaire look like on paper? Blaise codes either left in or taken out –If left in the questions are difficult to follow –If taken out there is no way for the researcher to see the routing Most research reports with a questionnaire at the back have a modified version of the Blaise codes



27 Using the Qb: Summary Readily accessible bank of questions Entire surveys available for download Questions –Process of operationalisation already proofed –Benchmarked officially –Tried and tested in the field –Chunked ready for download

28 The Team Qb Director Martin Bulmer Qb Manager Julie Lamb Qb Content Manager Graham Hughes Qb Researcher Laura Hyman Qb Administrator Zoe Tenger

29 Feedback Help us to develop the Qb resource Online user survey Contact us: Join the mailing list!

30 The Survey Link Scheme Qb works very closely with the SLS team Provide training days in survey data collection focusing particularly on CAPI and upon its use in one particular major survey in each workshop Try to arrange for participants from training days to go out with an interviewer in the field Survey Link Scheme

31 The Workshops FREE chance to find out about data collection in the field Held around the UK Each focuses on a different survey The day includes: –Introduction to CAPI and Blaise software –Introduction to the Qb –Survey team from an agency running through the data collection for that survey, including practical work on computers



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