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IRB: Survey Research

Covenant College’s IRB has adopted the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) best practices for survey research. A quality survey should:


  1. Have specific goals.

  2. Consider alternative data beyond a survey.

  3. Select samples that well represent the population to be studied.

  4. Use designs that balance costs with errors.

  5. Take great care in matching question format and wording to the concepts being measured and the population being studied.

  6. Pretest questionnaires and procedures.

  7. Train interviewers carefully on interviewing techniques and the subject matter of the survey.

  8. Check quality at each stage. 

  9. Maximize cooperation or response rates within the limits of ethical treatment of human subjects.

  10. Use appropriate statistical analytic and reporting techniques.

  11. Develop and fulfill pledges of confidentiality given to respondents.

  12. Disclose all methods of the survey to allow for evaluation and replication.