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Opportunities and challenges in new survey data collection methods using apps and images.

Read, Brendan (2020) Opportunities and challenges in new survey data collection methods using apps and images. PhD thesis, University of Essex.


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Surveys are well established as an effective way of collecting social science data. However, they may lack the detail, or not measure the concepts, necessary to answer a wide array of social science questions. Supplementing survey data with data from other sources offer opportunities to overcome this. The use of mobile technologies offers many such new opportunities for data collection. New types of data might be able to be collected, or it may be possible to collect existing data types in new and innovative ways .As well as these new opportunities, there are new challenges. Again, these can both be unique to mobile data collection, or existing data collection challenges that are altered by using mobile devices to collect the data.The data used is from a study that makes use of an app for mobile devices to collect data about household spending, the Understanding Society Spending Study One. Participants were asked to report their spending by submitting a photo of a receipt, entering information about a purchase manually, or reporting that they had not spent anything that day. Each substantive chapter offers a piece of research exploring a different challenge posed by this particular research context. Chapter one explores the challenge presented by respondent burden in the context of mobile data collection. Chapter two considers the challenge of device effects. Chapter three examines the challenge of coding large volumes of organic data. The thesis concludes by reflecting on how the lessons learnt throughout might inform survey practice moving forward. Whilst this research focuses on one particular application it is hoped that this serves as a microcosm for contributing to the discussion of the wider opportunities and challenges faced by survey research as a field moving forward.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
Depositing User: Brendan Read
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2020 15:20
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2020 15:20

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