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Launch of project “Probability web panels in national statistics for persons and households”


The project entitled “Probability web panels in national statistics for persons and households” was launched by Centre for Social Informatics (CSI) in September 2021. The project is funded by the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS) for the period of two years and is classified as a target research project. The leader of the project is prof. Vasja Vehovar, PhD.

With rapid technological development, traditional survey methods – mail, telephone and face-to-face field surveys – are being replaced by online surveys. Probability web panels play a particularly important role in the validity of online surveys. Panels comprise members who agree in advance to regularly participate (e.g., monthly) in various web surveys for an incentive. While probability web panels have spread rapidly in recent years in academic research and in some areas of the public sector, they have not yet gained acceptance in official statistics.

Nevertheless, recent challenges in survey research caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the difficulties in conducting face-to-face interviews, have accelerated the process of considering the suitability of probability web panels also in official statistics. The project will therefore test the potential of probability web panels for the needs of official statistics.

At the core of the project is a comparison of probability web panels on the one hand and traditional probability surveys on the other, in the context of official surveys of the general population of persons or households. High quality comparisons require a precise definition of survey errors and costs, followed by integrated treatment for assessment and optimization purposes. Accordingly, the main objectives of the project are the following:

1. Provide a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the global state-of-the-art on the topic in the literature and of the related activities in the leading statistical offices.

2. Review the content of potential survey questions suitable for inclusion in such a panel in official statistics, and also consider potential synergies with other public sector stakeholders with relevant survey content and similar interests.

3. Conduct a pilot probability web panel to gain insight into survey costs and the quality of statistical estimates and to develop an integrated comparative approach for assessing the quality and costs.

4. Conduct a comprehensive feasibility study for the establishment of a probability web panel for official statistics in Slovenia that discusses all related financial, methodological, legal and organizational aspects.

The results will provide the stakeholders with new and up-to-date knowledge, including about the corresponding dilemmas. This information will also be the basis for competent decisions.


Back to list of notificationsPublished: 01. December 2021 | Category: News