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Total Survey Error in Practice by Brady T. West, N. Clyde Tucker, Lars E. Lyberg, Frauke Kreuter, Brad Edwards, Stephanie Eckman, Edith de Leeuw, Paul P. Biemer

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10Smartphone Participation in Web Surveys: Choosing Between the Potential for Coverage, Nonresponse, and Measurement Error

Gregg Peterson,1 Jamie Griffin,1 John LaFrance,2 and JiaoJiao Li2

1 Survey Research Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

2 Market Strategies International, Livonia, MI, USA

10.1 Introduction

The World Wide Web turned 25 years old in 2014 and, in the past decade, web data collection has come to dominate the $40 billion global survey and opinion research market (ESOMAR, 2014). Until recently, web surveys were completed almost exclusively on personal computers (PCs) or laptops; however, technological advances have made mobile web surveys possible. Simultaneously, people have increasingly demonstrated a predilection for using mobile devices (e.g., tablets, smartphones) to access the Internet and browse the web (Duggan and Smith, 2013).

The first handheld cell phone was unveiled in 1973 and mobile browsers have been available for over 20 years but mobile Internet usage was quite limited until smartphones became more widely distributed (Farley, 2005; Gessler and Kotulla, 1995). However, by 2008, a year after the release of the first iPhone, 25% of U.S. mobile phone owners were accessing the Internet from their phones (Duggan and Rainie, 2012). Furthermore, in recent years, web survey completion on such devices, whether intended by researchers or not, has increased (Comer and Saunders, 2012; Jue, 2015; Peterson, 2012; Revilla et al., 2014).

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