ACSPRI Conferences, ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference 2014

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Online recruitment: Poisoned chalice or light at the end of the recruitment tunnel?

Carmel M Taddeo, Daly L Daly, Barbara A Spears

Building: Holme Building
Room: MacCallum Room
Date: 2014-12-08 01:30 PM – 03:00 PM
Last modified: 2014-10-31


Conducting internet-based studies can provide opportunities to engage a broad sample base; however sampling and online recruitment can be problematic. Challenges can surface when engaging over researched target samples, difficult to access populations and also in the management of consent processes, privacy and ownership obligations. In addition, incentivising and servicing online samples and ensuring the integrity of research conducted online highlights the importance of establishing research protocols that support rigorous research processes in online contexts. Four parallel internet sample recruitment methodologies employed in a pre post survey design for a national Australian Government funded initiative, Safe and Well Online study will be discussed. The study investigates the extent to which social media campaigns impact on young people’s attitudes and behaviours towards safe online practices and the extent to which young people engaged with social marketing and branding campaigns for cyber-safety and mental health promotion.
The penetration of the internet into many aspects of young people’s lives provided the primary rationale for promoting the study, disseminating surveys and collecting data via channels available on the internet. With the sampling frame in mind, research panels, email direct marketing, transactional leads (river sampling) and snowballing recruitment methods will be examined to explore if they have merit as valid sampling and recruitment options. The advantages and disadvantages of each strategy will be discussed and of the total sample (N=2338), the response rates for each approach will be detailed followed by a discussion on the investigations into differences between subsamples.