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Developing best practices of managing response burden and data quality for law enforcement agency surveys (308205)Christopher Ellis, RTI Internatoinal
*Y. Patrick Hsieh, RTI International
Keywords: law enforcement agency, response burden management, contact strategy, research design, web survey
Conducting surveys with law enforcement agencies for criminal justice research often encounters unique methodological challenges, given that the sensitive nature of the “business-related” information and the complex organizational structure of law enforcement agents and support staff may present serious burden to the targeted organizational representatives to retrieve and report the requested data accurately and efficiently. Guided by the response process model of establishment surveys (e.g. Edward and Cantor, 2004; Giesen, 2007; Bavdaz, 2010 ), this study seeks to review the methodological design in recent establishment surveys on law enforcement agencies, emergency service providers, and supporting service organizations such as victim service or child advocacy providers. Our review examines the response rate and other available information about data collection process reported in the publications of such surveys. Subsequently, we assess the implications of survey mode and the design of communication strategy for the management of response burden and data quality. We further conclude our study by identifying future research agenda and proposing a set of best practices to address the challenges in the response process for conducting law enforcement agency web surveys.