Best Practices in Designing and Conducting Quality Research Seminar Series

Past Workshops

What is "good research"?: Designing and Evaluating Quality Studies
Ashley Clark and Lilian Yahng

November 8, 2019

Today, there are more ways than ever for researchers in health and medicine, business and public policy, education, and the social sciences to design, conduct, and analyze studies to measure behaviors, attitudes, opinions, and beliefs. But with greater access to data and technologies, there is also increased potential for poorly designed research that can yield inaccurate findings. Poorly worded and formatted questions, reliance on easy, cheap samples of unknown quality, and low participation rates among some subgroups loom large. In this seminar, we will review potential threats to data quality using the widely-cited Total Survey Error (TSE) framework, focusing on coverage, sampling, nonresponse, and measurement error. Examples will be presented to highlight potential threats in these areas of data quality and how they may be addressed. This seminar should benefit researchers who are engaged in primary data collection as well as secondary data users.

View materials on IUScholarWorks 

Technological tools and best practices for conducting web surveys
Kevin Tharp & Lilian Yahng

October 9, 2019

Web surveys are now widely used to collect cutting-edge scientific data in health and medicine, business and public policy, education, and the social sciences. They have brought exciting new capabilities that expand what we are able to do as researchers and can improve efficiency and data quality. Yet, they also present new challenges in survey design and usability and must keep pace with rapidly changing technology. In this seminar, we will provide best practices on how to effectively lay out and design web surveys and implement them to maximize participation and data quality. We will show examples of available features for designing, administering, and analyzing web surveys using off-the-shelf and custom survey systems.

View materials on IUScholarWorks


About the Presenters

Ashley Clark is the director of the Center for Survey Research and a clinical assistant professor in the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs where she teaches applied research methods. Ashley has 20+ years of experience as an applied statistician designing, conducting, and analyzing surveys in collaboration with faculty, staff, and students.  
Kevin Tharp currently serves as the associate director of research technologies at the Center for Survey Research (CSR), where he acts as senior SQL database developer and development programmer for web, telephone, and in-person surveys (CASES, Qualtrics, REDCap, etc.). Kevin has more than 25 years of experience at CSR.