Data Collection

CSR conducts surveys by telephone, in person, by mail, and via the web. The Center maintains a staff of phone interviewers and a staff of field interviewers to enlist cooperation and to conduct interviews. All interviewers receive a thorough program of training in basic non-directive, standardized interviewing skills, and their performance is evaluated systematically by supervisors. The aim of these efforts is to maximize participation and response rates, while ensuring that the most rigorous protocols of standardized interviewing are maintained.

Telephone interviewers conduct large-scale national as well as regional telephone studies, with sample sizes ranging from less than a hundred to many thousands of interviews, and field interviewers conduct local, state, and regional personal-interview surveys. CSR is experienced in interviewing specialized populations, such as physicians and CEOs, the elderly, children, the very ill, and disadvantaged or hard-to-reach urban populations. CSR has a computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) system on 30 stations, the capability of performing computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) on 25 laptops for in-person surveys, and the capability of collecting data using audio-CASI and IVR (Interactive Voice Recognition) technologies, some of the latest techniques to improve response quality for potentially sensitive questions. CSR also conducts many self-administered mail surveys, following a standardized protocol including postcard followup and second mailings. CSR has conducted a number of web surveys with specialized populations and is experienced with increasingly popular mixed-mode data collections.