Our Quality Standards

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Survey Research Initiative

Survey Research Initiative

Our Quality Standards

  • The Teachers College Survey Research Initiative will ensure that each survey has specific goals or objectives, and that its design is consistent with them. When appropriate, the SRI will recommend alternative methods of data collection if a survey is judged to be ill-suited to a client's research needs and questions.
  • The SRI will assist clients in formulating the target population, sampling frame, and sample design. To the extent possible, the SRI will report data on the survey response rate, sample representativeness, and the amount of sampling error in the sample survey data collected.
  • Survey item wording and format will be informed by research on questionnaire design and scale development.
  • The SRI will assess the extent to which survey questions ask about sensitive attitudes and/or behaviors, and will advise the client on strategies to minimize the discomfort that respondents might experience when answering such questions.
  • The SRI will seek to ensure that all survey items are field-tested with a convenience sample that is representative of the target population prior to full-scale survey administration.
  • Surveys conducted by the SRI will meet institutional, legal and ethical responsibilities to survey respondents. In particular, the SRI will ensure that survey respondents provide their voluntary informed consent for participation, and that the conditions under which the identity of individual respondents or respondent-identifiable information balance individuals' rights to privacy and the legitimate purposes of the research.
  • The SRI will analyze survey data and report findings in ways that are appropriate to the data collected. Findings will be reported clearly and fairly, with appropriate attention to uncertainty associated with the various components of survey error.