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Methodological Research

Methodological Research


Although Question Evaluation has been a standard practice within the federal statistical system for decades, it remains under-utilized and its benefits to the greater survey methodology community are often misunderstood. The QDRL conducts methodological research for three main reasons:

  1. To develop and refine question evaluation pretest methods,
  2. To examine construct validity, and
  3. To increase overall understanding of the question response process and survey response error.


Question Evaluation Methods

There are a number of scientifically based question evaluation methods; every method has advantages and disadvantages. Being practitioners of question evaluation, the QDRL engages in research to ensure the methods are conducted at the highest level possible. By developing and refining these methods, the QDRL can provide NCHS and surveys the highest quality value in each study.


QEM Workshop

In 2009, the QDRL along with NCHS leadership and the National Cancer Institute hosted a workshop on Question Evaluation Methods. Authors engaged in an interdisciplinary and cross-method examination of the methods, and presentations were given by leading experts in different evaluation methods.

View more information and presentations on the Q-Bank site  

The QDRL led the effort to turn the papers presented into a book: Question Evaluation Methods: Contributing to the Science of Data Quality. It is published by Wiley in their Series in Survey Methodology. 



The QDRL is also part of the IREG and also the QUEST working group. The working groups consist of domestic (IREG) and international practitioners of Question Evaluation. The meetings promote standards, discuss challenges, present findings and share their recent experiences with questionnaire development and testing. The QDRL along with the Bureau of Labor Statistics hosted the last meeting in April of 2013.

Information about the conference and presentation slides are available on the Q-Bank site  

Currently the QDRL is involved in publishing a volume on Cognitive Interviewing, how the method can be used to provide new ways to think about surveys, and how to better develop and analyze the resulting data. 





Questionnaire Design Research Laboratory

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