Online versus paper: format effects in tourism surveys

Dolnicar, Sara, Laesser, Christian and Matus, Katrina (2009) Online versus paper: format effects in tourism surveys. Journal of Travel Research, 47 3: 295-316. doi:10.1177/0047287508326506

Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your UQ eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads

Author Dolnicar, Sara
Laesser, Christian
Matus, Katrina
Title Online versus paper: format effects in tourism surveys
Journal name Journal of Travel Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0047-2875
Publication date 2009-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0047287508326506
Open Access Status
Volume 47
Issue 3
Start page 295
End page 316
Total pages 22
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, CA, United States
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Abstract The popularity of online surveys is rising, yet the validity of survey data collected online is frequently questioned. This study compares online surveys versus paper surveys administered via regular mail in the tourism context, and examines in detail the extent and nature of survey bias resulting from survey format-specific respondent self-selection. Results suggest that (1) both online and mail samples deviate from census data population statistics regarding sociodemographics to the same extent (but differ in nature), (2) no differences exist in the contamination of data by response styles, (3) online respondents have a lower dropout rate and produce less incomplete data, and (4) responses to tourism-related questions differ significantly, indicating that survey format can dramatically influence results of empirical studies in tourism. Our findings show that neither pure online surveys nor pure paper surveys administered through regular mail are unbiased. Format-specific self-selection of respondents to participate leads to systematic biases in both cases, making multimethod survey approaches the most reliable way of data collection at present.
Keyword Survey research
Online survey
Mail survey
Self-selection bias
Nonresponse bias
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: UQ Business School Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 30 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 40 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Mon, 08 Apr 2013, 16:43:31 EST by Dr Kayleen Campbell on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service