Westat Researchers Provide Strategies for Hard-to-Survey Populations

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New book offers the first systematic look at collecting data in difficult settings and with hard to reach populations

Cambridge University Press has just released Hard-to-Survey Populations, edited by Westat Vice Presidents Roger Tourangeau and Brad Edwards, as well as Timothy P. Johnson, Kirk M. Wolter, and Nancy Bates. The book advances the field of survey research by offering the first systematic look at effective strategies for collecting data in difficult settings, such as disaster-affected areas or homeless shelters, and with populations that are difficult to find or persuade to participate, such as immigrants or those with disabilities.

The book is garnering positive reviews. It “fills a key gap in the survey methods literature. It will be relied upon by both novices and experts,” said Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland Stanley Presser. “The challenge of doing research with rare and difficult-to-find populations is shared across all sectors of the research industry. This book offers the first comprehensive treatment of methods specifically designed to meet that challenge,” said Reg Baker, former president of Market Strategies International.

Hard-to-Survey Populations features contributions from more than 70 international experts. “[The book] covers the waterfront from sampling and operational issues to statistical theory and best practices,” said Dr. Tourangeau, who served as lead editor for the book. Topics include respondent-driven sampling and data collection strategies, including advertising and other methods for engaging otherwise difficult groups of people.

Dr. Tourangeau also authored the chapter “Defining Hard-to-Survey Populations.” Graham Kalton, a Westat Senior Vice President and former president of the International Association of Survey Statisticians, contributed a chapter on probability sampling methods for hard-to-sample populations. Brad Edwards co-chaired the 2012 international conference on hard-to-survey populations that became a springboard for the book.

The book is available now in paperback, hardback, and as an e-book. For more information, visit the Cambridge University Press website

About Westat

Westat is one of the leading research and statistical survey organizations in the United States. Since 1963, Westat has provided statistical and evaluation research services to Federal and state government agencies and other organizations in the fields of health, education, social services, transportation, housing, the environment and other subjects.

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Patricia Espey-English, VP Marketing
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