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date: 25 September 2017

Abstract and Keywords

The total survey error (TSE) approach is a useful schema for organizing the planning and evaluation of surveys. It classifies the several possible types of errors in surveys, including in respondent selection, response accuracy, and survey administration. While the goal is to minimize these errors, the TSE approach emphasizes that this must be done within limitations imposed by several constraints: the cost of minimizing each type of error, the time requirements for the survey, and ethical standards. In addition to survey errors and constraints, there are several survey effects for which there are no error-free solutions; the size of these effects can be studied even though they cannot be eliminated. The total survey quality (TSQ) approach further emphasizes the need for survey organizations to maximize the quality of the product they deliver to their clients, within the context of TSE tradeoffs between survey errors and costs.

Keywords: survey costs, survey error, survey effects, survey trade-offs, total survey quality, total survey error

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