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Web Surveys: Applications in Denominational Research

Rebecca C. Sims
Review of Religious Research
Vol. 49, No. 1, Special Issue on the Impact of the Internet on Religious Research (Sep., 2007), pp. 69-80
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20447473
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Web Surveys: Applications in Denominational Research
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Abstract

Five surveys were conducted using the Internet for various constituents of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). In three cases, participants were sent e-mail invitations with links to the on-line surveys. Two questionnaires were primarily paper-and-pencil instruments with the option of completing the survey on-line. A new software package that integrates Web forms and scannable paper forms was tested and implemented. Overall, the five Web surveys conducted were successful, with response rates ranging from ten to 58 percent. In almost all cases, paper response rates were higher than Web response rates. An item analysis for one survey revealed several differences between Web and paper respondents, suggesting possible systematic differences between those who chose one response format over another. Age was also a significant factor, with older respondents generally choosing the paper format. Methods to increase Web response rates are discussed and the strengths and weaknesses of Web surveys in a denominational context are explored.

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