Review of Crowdsourcing and Online Survey Sample Providers to Track Scientists

Prepared for
National Science Foundation

Graphic of crowd of people in cloudRapid expansion in Internet use creates an opportunity to address the growing problem of low survey response rates by tapping into large samples of survey respondents through crowdsourcing platforms such as MTurk. In recent years, researchers have begun to use crowdsourcing platforms and online sample providers to supply respondents for surveys. Through a subcontract with SRI International, Mathematica conducted a literature review of marketplace recruitment platforms to assess their usefulness for conducting cost-effective cognitive testing and quantitative assessments of populations relevant to survey research supported by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES). Following NSF guidance regarding a topic of interest to NCSES, Mathematica will pilot test the use of these platforms in the near future.

Mathematica is also providing expert statistical expertise in a range of areas to enhance NCSES’s data collection and survey design efforts. This includes assistance in conducting data quality checks on the 2015 National Survey of Recent College Graduates and updating the survey weights user guide.