Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Nature of Science, Research, Systems of Higher Education, Museum Science
Abstract A controversial issue exists in questionnaire survey techniques as to the relationship between questionnaire length and rate of returns. Questionnaire return rates were, therefore, examined under the following six controlled methodological conditions: (1) a large random sample, 1,650; (2) no follow-up procedures; (3) same type of mailout procedures and instructions for each questionnaire length; (4) no incentives or high interest factors; (5) same type of questionnaire for each of the three questionnaire lengths; (6) questionnaires of appropriate lengths (1, 3, and 5 pages); and (7) a daily tally of returns kept for each type of questionnaire. There was a difference in the rate of return among the three types of questionnaires when other influences on rate of return were held to a minimum. The variant results between the study and previous studies referred to in the review of literature can be explained by the fact that the controlled conditions were maintained for this study and not for previous studies.
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