UWSC News

October 2017

Unpacking What Participants Think About When They Rate Their Health

Self-rated health — “Would you say your health in general is excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor?”— is one of the most widely used measures of health because of its ability to predict morbidity and mortality. Yet it is unclear what underlies health ratings. Researchers at the UWSC and Loyola University analyzed participants’ explanations of how they formulated their health ratings in addition to which health factors they considered using data from cognitive interviews conducted for the Voices Heard Study. The authors report differences across groups in some types of health factors mentioned. They also document various processes through which respondents integrate seemingly disparate health factors to formulate an answer. Finally, they find some evidence of sociodemographic group differences with respect to types of health factors mentioned, valence of health factors, and conditional health statements, highlighting avenues for future research. The study provides a description of how participants rate their general health status and highlights potential differences in these processes across sociodemographic groups, helping to provide a more comprehensive understanding of how SRH functions as a measure of health.
Garbarski, Dana, Jennifer Dykema, Kenneth D. Croes, and Dorothy F. Edwards. 2017. “How Participants Report Their Health Status: Cognitive Interviews of Self-Rated Health Across Race/Ethnicity, Gender, Age, and Educational Attainment.“ BMC Public Health 17:771. (DOI: 10.1186/s12889-017-4761-2; http://rdcu.be/wsyn)


September 2017

UWSC contributes to research on the effects on families of unsuccessful organ donation attempts at the time of death

On behalf of a University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health research team headed by vascular surgeon and medical ethicist Dr. Margaret (Gretchen) Schwarze, UWSC senior project director Ken Croes conducted in-depth interviews and facilitated focus groups that explored the harms experienced by families of unsuccessful organ donors following an irreversible loss of function of the heart and lungs (i.e., circulatory death). The in-depth interviews were conducted with family members of unsuccessful organ donors in Wisconsin; the focus groups, with professionals involved in the organ donation process (anesthesiologists, transplant surgeons, palliative care doctors, critical care professionals, and organ procurement organization personnel) at society conferences in Washington DC, Orlando, Miami, Phoenix Honolulu, and Chicago. The research results were recently published in an article titled “Harms of Unsuccessful Donation After Circulatory Death: An Exploratory Study” in the American Journal of Transplantation (doi: 10.1111/ajt.14464). According to the article, families of patients who were unable to donate organs after circulatory death reported experiencing a wide range of harms, including the waste of life-living organs, an inability to honor their loved one’s last life decision, and a compounded sense of grief in that the unsuccessful organ donation attempt happens at the same time as the death of their loved one. Little had been known and documented in the literature about the harms experienced by family members of unsuccessful organ donors at the time of circulatory death, so this was a vanguard exploratory study.


August 2017

UWSC welcomes Ciara Bridges as a project director

Ciara Bridges joined the UW Survey Center project direction team as a Project Director on August 1 2017. Before joining the Survey Center, Ciara worked as a research assistant and telephone interviewer for the Center for Healthy Minds and the UW Psychology Department. She also worked in the Harackiewicz Social-Psychology Research Laboratory where she conducted face-to-face interviews doing motivation based research. She has experience managing web and CATI studies, as well as face-to-face interviewing and questionnaire development. UWSC is excited to welcome Ciara to our growing staff of project directors. We look forward to applying her experiences as an interviewer and knowledge of web and telephone based research to our many current and upcoming survey research projects.


August 2017

UWSC welcomes Carol Wintheiser as a project director

Carol Wintheiser joined the UW Survey Center project direction team as a Project Director on August 1 2017. Carol originally joined the UW Survey Center in 2010 as a CATI interviewer. After graduating she returned to the Survey Center to work in a variety of supervisory roles across Field departments, where she trained and managed interviewers and support staff. In her current role as a Project Director she is co-managing the Wisconsin Youth Tobacco Survey, a school-based survey of Wisconsin students aiming to better understand the attitudes and behaviors related to tobacco products and use among young people. UWSC is excited to welcome Carol to our growing staff of project directors. We look forward to applying her experiences in face-to-face, mail and telephone research to our many current and upcoming survey research projects.


August 2017

MIDUS: A UWSC Flagship Study showcased by Center for Healthy Minds (CHM)

The Midlife Development in the U.S. study (MIDUS) was recently featured in a newsletter from the Center for Healthy Minds, which UWSC considers one of its defining achievements. Now 20-years-old, MIDUS brings the limelight to investigating “the twilight years”, an age period which is usually overlooked. CHM and the UWSC are working together to answer questions about a period which is very rarely studied.

“We are learning a lot about what makes people vulnerable. But we are learning about what makes people resilient, as well.” – Dr. Carol Ryff

To access the full article and visit the CHM website, click here: https://centerhealthyminds.org/news/telling-the-tale-of-midlife-in-the-united-states


August 2017

UWSC Hosts Visitors from the National Analytical Center (or Nazarbayev University) in Kazakhstan

The UWSC welcomed guests from Kazakhstan to learn about survey center operations: Ms. Aktoty Aitzhanova (Chief Economist of NAC), Mrs. Saule Gazizova (Senior Researcher of Surveys and Statistics Center of NAC), Mr. Assylan Akimbayev (Researcher-analyst of Surveys and Statistics Center of NAC), and Mr. Alexey Shirokoborodov (Researcher-analyst of Surveys and Statistics Center of NAC). The National Analytical Center was offered presentations by UWSC clients and steering committee members from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, including Dr. Eric Camburn (School of Education), Dr. Paul Moberg (Evaluation Research Group, UW Population Health Institute) and Dr. Barry Radler (MIDUS, Institute on Aging).

Special thanks to the UWSC Team for hosting these guests: Dr. Nora Cate Schaeffer (Faculty Director and Sociology Professor), Dr. Jennifer Dykema (Senior Survey Methodologist and Senior Scientist), Steve Coombs (Director of Field Operations), Kelly Elver (Director of Project Management), Eric White (Director of IT), Carrie Barrett (Business Office Manager), John Stevenson (Associate Director), Dr. Nathan Jones (Senior Project Director), Kerryann DiLoreto (Senior Project Director), and Karen Zoladz (Senior Project Director).


 

August 2017

Who’s Calling? Predicting Survey Participation from the Opening of the Call

Although survey researchers have been conducting phone surveys since before the 1970s, little is known about how best to begin a call. A new publication by UWSC researchers and colleagues using data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study identifies two features of the call opening that predict whether the call will end with an interview. An interview is more likely if the sample member has a larger (rather than smaller) pitch span and if the interviewer introduces herself before asking for the sample member. When the respondents has to ask “Who is this?” or “What is this about?” the chance of an interview decreases.

Schaeffer, Nora Cate, Bo Hee Min, Thomas Purnell, Dana Garbarski, and Jennifer Dykema. “Greeting and Response: Predicting Participation from the Call Opening.” 2017. Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology. DOI: 10.1093/jssam/smx014


5/2017

UWSC featured in Wisconsin State Journal's "Fueling Discovery"

"Quality surveys give people a voice in science" by UWSC Faculty Director Nora Cate Schaeffer, was part of the Wisconsin State Journal's May 7, 2017 special section "Fueling Discovery".

To check out the full special section, including the article about UWSC on page 18, please visit: http://madisonstatejournal.wi.newsmemory.com/?special=Fueling+Discovery


5/2017

UWSC Study Results Cited by New York Times

An April 25, 2017 New York Times opinion piece describing the college experience of a former foster care youth cited findings of the Midwest Young Adult Study, conducted by UWSC for Dr. Mark Courtney, a University of Chicago researcher.

Click here to read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/25/opinion/after-foster-care-college-california.html


5/2017

UWSC helped collect survey data for Goldstein's Janesville: An American Story

In 2013, Washington Post staff writer Amy Goldstein spent several months as a visiting scholar at UW's Institute for Research on Poverty laying the groundwork for her recently released book on how Janesville weathered the economic downturn. During that time, she spent weeks visiting the city to interview people about their lives and also conducted a survey of the community using an address-based sample. UWSC distributed the survey to 2,000 households in Rock County and achieved a response rate of 60%. The survey also asked for volunteers to participate in follow up interviews with the journalist to provide more details about how life has changed in Janesville. Ms Goldstein recently visited campus to present her work at an event co-sponsored by the Institute for Research on Poverty, La Follette School of Public Affairs, Center for Demography and Ecology, COWS, Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, Department of Political Science, Elections Research Center, Morgridge Center for Public Service, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and University of Wisconsin Survey Center.

Read a review here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/19/books/review-janesville-amy-goldstein.html


5/2017

UWSC’s Assistance with Conducting the First Ever UW-Madison Student Climate Survey Highlighted in Inside UW-Madison News

In its May 2nd edition, Inside UW-Madison News shared an update on diversity efforts at UW-Madison. In the article, they described the 18 initiatives to be achieved in phases over a 10- year period. The conduct of the first ever campus wide student climate survey was part of the now completed phase 1 of this effort. UWSC worked closely with the Chief Diversity Officer Patrick Sims to help develop and implement this campus wide student survey, inviting over 40,000 students to participate.

To read the Inside UW-Madison news article, please click here: http://insideuw.wisc.edu/may-2-2017/

To read Sims’ update, click here: https://diversity.wisc.edu/vice-provost-cdo-patrick-sims-gives-diversity-update-to-faculty-senate/


4/2017

UWSC survey work at the heart of Pulitzer Prize-winning book Evicted

UWSC client, Matthew Desmond, has won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction for his book, Evicted. UWSC collected the in-person survey data for Dr. Desmond’s Milwaukee Area Renter Study (MARS) and Milwaukee Eviction Court Study (MECS). Evicted is based in large part on Dr. Desmond’s analysis of these quantitative datasets in addition to his own qualitative field work. Sincere congratulations goes out to Dr. Desmond and to our staff who were involved in the study!


3/2017

UWSC Staff to participate in the 51st annual International Field Directors and Technologies Conference (IFD&TC).

Many staff from the UWSC will participate in the 51st annual IFD&TC in New Orleans, Louisiana on May 21st – 24th 2017. Staff will participate by giving presentations, leading panel and round table discussions, and facilitating sessions. In addition, Directory of Project Management Kelly Elver and Senior Project Director Kerryann DiLoreto will be working behind the scenes on the Organizing and Program Committees. (Staff names appear in bold.)

Kenneth D. Croes, Kerryann DiLoreto, Jennifer Dykema, Nora Cate Schaeffer, and Dana Garbarski. “Achieving High Compliance with a Request for a Photograph of Respondents in an In-Home Study: Protocol Development, Field Implementation, Analysis of Associated Factors, and Qualitative Exploration of Respondent-Interviewer Interaction”

  • This presentation describes the development and implementation of a field protocol to take photographs of respondents in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, and presents preliminary results of quantitative and qualitative analyses of factors associated with compliance.

Brendan Day “Using Hierarchical Data to Manage Sample and Contact Attempts”

  • This presentation describes how the UW Survey Center uses hierarchical data to manage sample and administer contacts by mail or email. The hierarchical model can accommodate studies of varying complexity, but this presentation will focus on the databases used to manage mixed-mode surveys and longitudinal studies, where we collect data about multiple addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers for each sample member, or import those data from multiple sources.

Nathan Jones “Training Interviewers and Managing Field Activities in Harsh Environments”

  • This presentation will use examples of challenging field situations from Indonesia, Chad, and Tibet to illustrate problem solving techniques. We will focus discussion on sample identification and recruitment, but also briefly cover field staff training, oversight of formal measurement tasks, crowd control in harsh environments.

Kate Krueger “Using Synchronized Contact Information in Multi-Mode CAPI Projects”

  • As a continuation of Brendan Day’s presentation, this presentation is an overview of the UWSC’s hierarchical database model as it interacts with the UWSC’s CAPI instrument front end in order to transfer sample member contact information between headquarters and remote field interviewers.

Marie Nitschke “Messy Solutions for Messy Problems: Scheduling and Surveying with Schools”

  • This presentation will discuss the development process for a method of communicating non survey data between field staff and headquarters in a way that allows for productivity monitoring and report creation without the development of custom software.

Augie Salick " Designing a Multi-Mode, Multi-Platform JavaScript Survey Authoring Framework"

  • This presentation describes the design decisions and unique features in a built-from-scratch survey authoring and administration system. The JavaScript based system has been designed to unify our survey systems into a single multi-mode, multi-device framework.

Chris Schlapper “Designing the Server, Database, and Administrative Tools in Support of a Multi-Mode, Multi-Platform Survey Authoring Framework”

  • This presentation discusses the server-side implementation of a built-from-scratch survey authoring and administration system. This implementation uses Node.js, JavaScript, and a MongoDB/NoSQL database to populate a data repository with the survey data and provide administrative and reporting tools to mine those data.

Nick Schultz “Development of an Effective Process for Reviewing Interviewer Notes in CAPI Studies”

  • This presentation will take a look at the process that led to the CAPI department taking on notes review, as well as an in-depth look at the effectiveness of timely note feedback to interviewers during the course of a field project.

John Stevenson, Jennifer Dykema, Chad Kniss, Nadia Assad, and Cathy Taylor “Using Sequential Prepaid Incentives to Increase Participation and Data Quality in a Mail Survey”

  • This presentation will show results from an incentive experiment with pediatricians. Presentation examines overall response rates, cost effectiveness and data quality across treatment groups that vary incentive amounts across sequential pre-incentives.

John Stevenson, Jennifer Dykema, Nadia Assad, Sarah Linnan, and D. Paul Moberg “Logistics of Facebook Recruiting”

  • This presentation will describe steps needed to conduct a study that recruits study subjects via facebook. Presentation walks audience through all the steps and decisions that are required to conduct such a study and shares results from a recent pilot effort, discussing pros and cons as well as summarizing key design issues that remain out of control of researchers when using such a platform to recruit subjects.

Carol Wintheiser “Planning and Performing Quality control for Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing”

  • This presentation will describe the quality control processes used in the UW Survey Center’s Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing department from the planning stage of a project through its field period, focusing on recently designed systems implemented to manage multiple methods of quality control across studies and interviewers.

3/2017

UWSC researchers examine factors associated with providing biomarkers by mail among graduates in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study

UWSC researchers along with collaborators at Loyola University Chicago and UW-Madison recently published findings in Public Opinion Quarterly of a study examining factors associated with compliance to a request to provide a salivary DNA sample by mail as part of a separate data collection effort of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study.

Respondents were contacted in 2007, and over 50 percent provided a saliva sample. Participation was lower among females, those with less education, those who were more socially isolated, those with lower cognitive ability, those in poorer health and with less contact with the healthcare system, those who were more religious, and those whose past behavior indicated resistance to participation. The analysis adds to the small but growing body of research on factors influencing the collection of biological measures in household surveys, particularly household panel surveys. Conclusions include recommendations for maximizing participation rates and reducing costs.

This study contributes to a fuller understanding of how the characteristics of respondents affect the provision of a saliva sample, one of the many increasingly common requests made across a variety of survey endeavors.,” write the authors. (Users within the UW system can download the article at https://academic.oup.com/poq/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/poq/nfw045; others should contact Jennifer Dykema (dykema@ssc.wisc.edu), for a copy of the paper.)


1/2017

UWSC staff to participate in the 72nd annual AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference

Several staff from the UWSC will present at the annual meeting of the 2017 conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) in New Orleans, Louisiana on May 18-21. As in previous years, UWSC staff will demonstrate their contributions to survey research methodology by delivering presentations of current research (staff names appear in bold). In addition Jennifer Dykema (Senior Scientist and Survey Methodologist) is this year’s Conference Chair.

Isabel Anadon, Jennifer Dykema, Dana Garbarski, Nora Cate Schaeffer, Ian Wall and Dorothy Farrah Edwards, "Do Interviewer and Respondent Behaviors Predict Measurement Equivalence: Comparing Measurement of Trust across Racial/Ethnic Groups”

  • Although lack of measurement equivalence is a common problem in survey question, no studies have examined patterns of interaction between the interviewer and respondent in order to determine whether items with more measurement error are associated with greater interactional problem indicators. In the current study we (1) code for behaviors that have been demonstrated to be associated with measurement error (e.g., respondents displaying comprehension or mapping difficulties); (2) test for differences among subgroups in the frequency with which behaviors are displayed; and (3) describe whether the behaviors vary by the questions associated with measurement invariance.

Dana Garbarski, Nora Cate Schaeffer, Jennifer Dykema, “Examining the Validity of Interviewers’ Ratings of Respondents’ Health”

  • This study seeks to establish the criterion validity of interviewers’ ratings of respondents’ general health status (IRH), examining associations between IRH and health- and interviewer-relevant measures of interest using data from Wave 8 of the UK Innovation Panel Study.

John Stevenson, Jennifer Dykema, Chad Kniss, Nadia Assad and Cathy Taylor, "Effects of Sequential Prepaid Incentives to Increase Participation and Data Quality in a Mail Survey"

  • Several studies find that the inclusion of a single, small, prepaid monetary incentive is effective in increasing response rates among physicians. Little research, however, examines what effect variation in the distribution and administration of these incentives has on response rates, and recent recommendations regarding incentives advise researchers to include a second cash incentive in a follow-up contact in order to increase the likelihood that “later communications will be read, and hopefully acted upon (Dillman et al. 2014, 424).” We embedded an experiment in a mail survey to examine the effects of different incentive combinations on participation.

Click here to visit the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) website.


1/2017

UWSC’s involvement in Midlife in the US (MIDUS) Study highlighted in Inside UW-Madison News

Inside UW-Madison News January 19th edition focuses on “Telling the tale of midlife in the United States” by examining the Midlife in the US (MIDUS) Study. UWSC has been a collaborator with MIDUS since 2000, collecting telephone interviews and paper questionnaires for this prestigious longitudinal study. In 2005, UWSC conducted an in-person interview effort for MIDUS, and since then has administered many more rounds of data collection across various modes. A remarkably valuable and rigorous study, MIDUS was recently funded for further data collection activities that UWSC will manage.

To read the Inside UW-Madison news article, please click here: http://news.wisc.edu/telling-the-tale-of-midlife-in-the-united-states/

For more information about UWSC’s involvement in MIDUS, please click here: https://uwsc.wisc.edu/recent-projects.htm#MIDUS


11/2016

UWSC staff participate in the 41st annual conference of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR)

UWSC staff presented papers at the annual meeting of the 2016 conference of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR) in Chicago, Illinois on November 18-19 (staff names appear in bold).

  • John Stevenson, Jennifer Dykema, Chad Kniss, Nadia Assad and Cathy Taylor. "Effects of Sequential Prepaid Incentives to Increase Participation and Data Quality in a Mail Survey."
  • Dana Garbarski, Nora Cate Schaeffer and Jennifer Dykema. "Examining the Validity of Interviewers’ Ratings of Respondents’ Health" 
  •  Ian Wall, Jennifer Dykema, Dana Garbarski and Dorothy F. Edwards. "Trust in Medical Researchers: Assessing Measurement Equivalence across Four Racial/Ethnic Groups." 
  •  Valadez, Silvia, Dana Garbarski, Jennifer Dykema and Dorothy F. Edwards. "Participation in Medical Research: Reasons Provided in Cognitive Interviews of a Diverse Sample."

UWSC is proud to help support MAPOR! This year Associate Director John Stevenson guided efforts to raise a record amount from sponsors to make the conference the best ever.

To visit the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR) click here.


10/2016

Big Read author and UWSC client Matthew Desmond talks about Evicted

On Tuesday November 1, Matthew Desmond will discuss his book Evicted as part of the UW’s Go Big Read events: https://gobigread.wisc.edu/. Desmond, a MacArthur Fellow who is currently at Harvard, received his Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Wisconsin-Madison. The research for Evicted began when he was a graduate student. In addition to Desmond’s ethnographic and other research, Evicted features findings from the Milwaukee Area Renters Study (MARS), conducted for Desmond by the UW Survey Center: http://scholar.harvard.edu/mdesmond/mars-data.


9/2016

UWSC’s John Stevenson and Kerryann DiLoreto interviewed by Andrew Flowers, of Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.com.

A new article on FiveThirtyEight.com, “How We Undercounted Evictions By Asking The Wrong Questions,” underscores the critical role of UWSC in successfully executing Matt Desmond’s groundbreaking study on eviction in Milwaukee. Over many years and many projects, the UWSC has honed their strategies for achieving high response rates among hard-to-reach populations. That accumulated institutional knowledge is instilled in UWSC field interviewers, who carry out the hard work of collecting high-quality data on the ground. For the Milwaukee Area Renters Study (MARS), this door-to-door, or “shoe leather”, approach resulted in a greater than 80% response rate. The rigorous study has garnered national attention from policymakers, researchers, and the general public.


9/2016

Art Exhibition by LaRae Fjellman

UWSC is pleased to offer an exhibition of three-dimensional art by LaRae Fjellman, on the 4th floor of Sterling Hall.

Hailing from Lindstrom, Minnesota, LaRae Fjellman offers over 40 pieces that display her unique approach to integrating Feng Shui and the 5 Element Philosophy with three-dimensional art. According to Fjellman, “It all starts with the collection of nature's treasures. Each piece is carefully chosen for beauty or functionality. Using the 5 Element Theory, each piece is meticulously designed with a specific intention.”

Early visitors to the gallery have described the fascinating pieces as mesmerizing, calming, soothing, and whimsical. Come see for yourself!

The exhibit will run until November 13, 2016.

Transcending Art, mobile

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8/2016

Milwaukee Area Renters Study, conducted by UWSC, featured in Matthew Desmond’s Evicted, the Big Read for 2016-2017

Evicted, the acclaimed book by Matthew Desmond was selected for the UW’s Go Big Read in 2016-2017. http://news.wisc.edu/go-big-read-selects-evicted-for-2016-17/ . In addition to Desmond’s ethnographic and other research, Evicted features findings from the Milwaukee Area Renters Study, conducted for Desmond by the UW Survey Center: http://scholar.harvard.edu/mdesmond/mars-data.


7/2016

UWSC and UW Faculty Partner in UW2020 Pilot Study: Wisconsin Study of Family Complexity and Public Policy

Lonnie Berger, Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty and Professor of Social Work, and Nora Cate Schaeffer, Faculty Director of the University of Wisconsin Survey Center and Sewell Bascom Professor of Sociology are co-Principal Investigators in the Wisconsin Study of Family Complexity and Public Policy. This pilot project is designed to document the reality of complex families: who lives there, who visits, and how resources are shared. Three interviews over 12 months with 250 Wisconsin mothers in complex families will record the multiple ways they share resources, creating a picture of who lives in the family, how they are related and how they help one another. This pilot study will set the stage for a much larger longitudinal study of family complexity and generate implications for family policies targeting those most at risk. Berger and Schaeffer are joined by co-investigators Maria Cancian, Professor of Public Affairs and Social Work, Marcia J. Carlson, Professor of Sociology, and Daniel R. Meyer, Professor of Social Work. 

 More details can be found here: https://research.wisc.edu/resfunding/uw2020-initiative/round-1/berger-complex-families/


6/2016

UWSC Studies cited as landmarks in PAA Presidential Address

In her April 2016 Presidential address to the Population Association of America (PAA), Judith A. Seltzer reviewed significant milestones and issues in family demography in the United States. She highlighted two studies in which the UW Survey Center played a key role. The longitudinal National Survey of Families and Households was a landmark in family demography in the United States. UWSC collected the third wave of data under the leadership of James Sweet, who was Director.

The 2012 WiscMoms study was cited for its pathbreaking measurement of family complexity. In WiscMoms, UWSC technical staff and instrument development staff partnered with IRP investigators Maria Cancian, Daniel Meyer, and Lonnie Berger to build an instrument that used a tablet to display complex timeline information that the respondent had provided to stimulate the respondent’s memory and to allow the respondent to review the information for accuracy.

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5/2016

Longitudinal Study of Generations

UWSC is proud to administer the Longitudinal Study of Generations. In this respected multi-generational study, researchers explore the ways family culture is transmitted across generations, and the effects of family life on physical and psychological well-being, friendships, work, opinions and values. Questions can be directed to Senior Project Director, Vicki Lein.

If you recently received an invitation to participate in the Longitudinal Study of Generations, please click here.


5/2016

Art Exhibition by Zafer Gurel

The University of Wisconsin Survey Center is pleased to offer an exhibition of photographs by artist, Zafer Gurel, on the 4th floor of Sterling Hall. Gurel works as a scientist in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Zafer Gurel offers a collection of photographs mostly captured in Wisconsin and some from his hometown of Istanbul. Some of the photographs have been digitally enhanced, giving us the artist’s unique perspective.

The exhibit will run until July 5, 2016.

Sky Lillies, photography

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5/2016

2016 Federal CASIC workshops

Chris Schlapper, Rob Schultz, and Eric White demonstrate collaborative bi-directional data collection using a laptop and a tablet simultaneously in CAPI interviews at the 2016 Federal CASIC workshops (FedCASIC). This is a methodological and technological advance that allows field interviewers to conduct interviews using a laptop running a traditional CAPI instrument while a respondent holds a tablet whose display is driven by the CAPI instrument. The respondent is prompted to enter his or her answers directly via the tablet interface. These responses are sent back to the laptop in real time and incorporated into the laptop's data set and instrument. All of this is done without an internet connection.

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4/2016

UWSC attends the North American Data Documentation Initiative (NADDI) conference

Brendan Day, Kate Krueger, and Eric White attend the North American Data Documentation Initiative (NADDI) conference in Edmonton, Alberta, CA. UWSC is investigating both how it can best use the DDI standard internally and how it can use the standard to help researchers document and disseminate their data in a way that helps them meet the requirements of their data management plan.

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3/2016

UWSC receives high praise for its work on the Milwaukee Area Renters Study

March 2016 – UWSC receives high praise for its work on the Milwaukee Area Renters Study (MARS) from Dr. Matthew Desmond, Harvard University Associate Professor of Social Sciences and 2015 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (“Genius Grant”) winner, during a Fluno Center presentation to highlight the release of his latest book “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, which was recently reviewed in the New York Times Book Review.

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3/2016

UWSC Staff to participate in the 50th annual International Field Directors and Technologies Conference (IFD&TC)

Several staff from the UWSC will participate in the 50th annual IFD&TC in Austin, Texas on May 15th - 18th 2016. Staff will participate by giving presentations, leading panel and round table discussions, and facilitating sessions. In addition, Directory of Project Management Kelly Elver will be working behind the scenes on the Organizing Committee. (Staff names appear in bold.)

Kerryann DiLoreto, Amanda Abramson, Rebecca Gatward, and Kriston Koepp "Tailoring Biological Specimen and Anthropometric Data Collection for Respondents"

  • This panel will examine experiences, knowledge, and challenges in the collection of biological specimens and anthropometric data and contributions to past and future research.

Kerryann DiLoreto, Eric White, Chris Schlapper, Rob Schultz, and Vicki Lein "Collaborative Bidirectional Data Collection Using a Laptop and a Tablet Simultaneously In CAPI Interviews"

  • This UWSC panel will present on a new bidirectional approach to data collection for computer-assisted personal interviews (CAPI) from both the Field and Tech perspectives. Panelists will provide an overview of collecting in-person interview data using both an interviewer-administered instrument on a laptop that collects data and controls what is displayed on the tablet – as well as data points input by the respondent on the tablet. Further discussion will address the technical design of this tool, how data was transferred between the tool and the CAPI instrument, and the challenges encountered with this bidirectional integration. 

  Kelly Elver "Budgeting Roundtable"

  • This roundtable will focus on recent developments in budgeting across a variety of center types. Come and share your budgeting and project cost tracking issues.

Jaime Faus “Thank Goodness for the Pilot”: Field Procedure Lessons from the Study of Iowa High Schools”

  • This presentation provides an overview of the lessons learned and the potential “disasters” that were avoided due to the implementation of a pilot round of data collection for the Study of Iowa High Schools.

Chad Kniss “Lessons from Three Years of Data Collection Using Address-Based Sampling for a Household Telephone Survey”

  • This presentation examines issues encountered and lessons learned from three years of data collection using an address-based sample for an on-going household telephone survey on health-related issues.

Kate Krueger “Using an Access Database to Increase the Ease and Efficiency of Performing Quality Control for Data Entry”

  • This presentation describes the Access database that was created to fulfill the need for a centralized location to log quality control sessions for data entry cases and display that data in a way that facilitates staff development and tracks project progress.

Marie Nitschke and Tara Piché "Challenges Collecting Real-Time Survey Data Using Smartphones”

  • This presentation will discuss technical challenges faced during collection of real-time data from college-aged students using an open-source application for smartphones, as well as alternative methods that may be effective for gathering these types of data.

Griselle Sanchez-Diettert, Nadia Assad, Jennifer Dykema, and Kelly Elver “Effects of Alternative Forms of Addressing Households on Response Rates, Data Quality, and Costs in a Mail Survey with an Address-Based Sample”

  • This presentation describes the results of a salutation experiment for an address-based mail survey of Wisconsin residents. The audience will learn about the effect of more personalized versus less personalized salutations on response rates and other indicators of data quality for a mail survey that uses an address-based sample in which a householder’s name is affixed by a sample vendor. We will discuss the costs associated with such efforts for a mail sample, as well as limitations of our study.

Chris Schlapper “Implementation of a Tablet Map as Input Device for Respondents in a Collaborative Approach to CAPI Interviewing”

  • This presentation discusses the implementation and practical uses of a tablet device as a survey tool interacting with a complex CAPI study, integrating mapping and survey technologies. 

 Rob Schultz "Managing Question Flow in a Tablet-Driven CAPI Survey"

  • This presentation will demonstrate a method to manage question flow in a tablet-driven CAPI survey using data validation and discuss the implications of controlling question flow for the interviewer-respondent interaction.

Michael Turek “Using Web and Social Media Tools to Locate Hard-to-Reach Populations”

  • This roundtable will discuss some of the developing web-based and social media techniques used to locate hard-to-reach and transitory sample groups for face to face interview projects.

Eric White "Turn Your Web App into a Mobile App with PhoneGap"

  • This presentation will provide an overview of the Adobe PhoneGap tools and how they can be used to convert a web application into an app that be installed on Android, iOS, or Windows Mobile devices.

Eric White "Adding Offline Customized Map Server Functionality to a CAPI Laptop"

  • This presentation will explain how to install and configure the TileStache map server to run offline and how doing so can help integrate the collection of map-based data into an existing data collection system.

To visit the International Field Directors and Technologies Conference website click here.

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1/2016

UWSC staff to participate in the 71st annual AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference

Several staff from the UWSC will present at the annual meeting of the 2016 conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) in Austin, Texas on May 12-15. As in previous years, UWSC staff will demonstrate their contributions to survey research methodology by delivering presentations of current research (staff names appear in bold):

Dana Garbarski, Nora Cate Schaeffer, Jennifer Dykema, Ellen Dinsmore, and Bo Hee Min

  • Using questions about end-of-life planning in the 2003-2005 wave of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, this study examines rapport as an interactional phenomenon--attending to both the content and structure of talk--and observes that rapport consists of behaviors that can be characterized as dimensions of responsiveness by interviewers and engagement by respondents. We examine the analytic potential of dimensions of responsiveness and engagement using a case-control design and the criterion of future study participation, as rapport developed during the interview may affect respondents’ decisions to participate in subsequent data collection efforts.

Nora Cate Schaeffer, Jennifer Dykema, and Dana Garbarski, “Conversational Practices and Standardization: How Respondents Answer Survey Questions”

  • Our qualitative study draws on thousands of transcribed question-answer sequences from several sources (e.g., Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, a national omnibus survey, a state poll, and several federal surveys). We describe the components with which answers are constructed for different question forms. Our preliminary analysis finds, for example, particularly complex answers to yes-no questions. Even when a question clearly projects “yes” or “no” as an answer, a respondent may add components like “probably” that could make the codability of the answer less clear. Understanding the influence of question form on answers and the components with which respondents construct answers is important for designing and improving traditional standardized interviewing, for training interviewers, and for designing any interviewing method involved in measurement.

Ian F. Wall, Jennifer Dykema, and Dorothy Farrar Edwards, “Measuring Trust in Medical Researchers: Comparing Agree-disagree and Construct-specific Items”

  • This study combines an experimental design with a mixed-methods analysis to compare response tendencies resulting from agree-disagree (AD) and construct-specific (CS) survey items, in this case items designed to assess one’s level of trust in medical researchers. The experiment is embedded within a cognitive interview study that tests questions about barriers and facilitators to participation in biomedical research with a quota sample of African Americans, American Indians, Caucasians, and Latinos. While several studies have demonstrated that CS items tend to yield responses with higher reliability and validity, this analysis provides insights about the response process so that we may better understand why response tendencies differ between AD and CS items, allowing for more specific item design recommendations. The analysis compares response latencies, indicators of response processing difficulties (e.g., requests for clarification), and indicators for reliability and concurrent validity for each question type. In addition, answers to questions and probes were analyzed qualitatively. Overall, the authors find that CS questions do not necessarily improve all aspects of the response process within this context.

Click here to visit the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) website.

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1/2016

UWSC researchers present AAPOR webinar on Questionnaire Design

On 21 January, a webinar developed by Jennifer Dykema (UWSC Survey Methodologist), Nora Cate Schaeffer (UWSC Faculty Director), and Dana Garbarski (Loyola University Chicago) was presented for members of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). “The Role of Question Characteristics in Designing and Evaluating Survey Questions” presented key insights from this area of research to develop a framework for how to think about question characteristics and the impact they have on data quality. The webinar can be purchased for viewing by AAPOR members and non-members from the AAPOR website: https://register.aapor.org/detail.aspx?id=WEB0116_REC.

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12/2015

UWSC researchers explore the effects of second prepaid incentives and envelope messaging on response rates in an addressed-based mail survey about health

UWSC researchers along with collaborators at UW-Madison and the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research recently published findings in Public Opinion Quarterly of two studies designed to examine the effect of sequential prepaid incentives and envelope messaging on response rates and costs in address-based mail surveys.

In the first study, sample members were randomly assigned to groups that either received a first incentive of $2 and a second one of $5 or a first incentive of $0 and a second of $2. They also received an envelope with no message or a monetary-focused message. Results indicated only the $5 preincentive was effective in increasing participation. Based on these findings a second study altered the experiment such that the amount of the second incentive was higher than the first: Respondents received a $2 preincentive and a $5 second incentive. The second study also manipulated envelope messaging by including a monetary- or health-focused message or no message. Results showed no effect of envelope messaging but a significant increase in response rates associated with a higher valued second incentive.

“If response rates are lagging and funds available, sending nonresponders a second incentive that is larger than the preincentive may increase response, but at a nontrivial cost,” suggest the authors. (Users within the UW system can download the article at http://poq.oxfordjournals.org/content/79/4/906.full.pdf+html; others should contact Jennifer Dykema (dykema@ssc.wisc.edu), for a copy of the paper.)

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11/2015

Dr. Nora Cate Schaeffer named 2015 MAPOR Fellow

On November 20th, at the 40th annual MAPOR Conference (Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research), Dr. Nora Cate Schaeffer, UW Survey Center faculty director and Sewell Bascom Professor of Sociology, was named MAPOR’s 2015 Fellow. MAPOR Fellows are MAPOR members who have made significant contributions to MAPOR through scholarship, service to the organization or other means. This is a very prestigious award and Dr. Schaeffer now joins the ranks of luminaries in the field of survey research, including former director of the US Census Bureau, Robert M. Groves (2008 MAPOR Fellow).

Inside UW- Madison newsletter recognition - Click Here

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10/2015

UWSC researchers provide advice about questionnaire design in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences

Nora Cate Schaeffer, Faculty Director and Jennifer Dykema, Survey Methodologist have reviewed the large literature that provides the basis for recommendations about how to improve the reliability and validity of standardized measurement, whether in survey interviews or in other contexts. Building on an analysis of question characteristics and the decisions required when writing questions, they summarize implications of this research and present illustrations of revisions that apply guidelines for improving question. Please request a copy from schaeffe@ssc.wisc.edu or dykema@ssc.wisc.edu if you would like to see this article.

Schaeffer, N.C., Dykema, J., 2015. Surveys: Question Wording and Response Categories. In: James D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 23. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 764–770.

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10/2015

Results of successful web surveys conducted by UWSC for the UW-Madison College of Letters and Science released.

The University of Wisconsin Survey Center’s work in administering two very successful web surveys of University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Letters and Science Alumni was released in early October, 2015.

To see the announcement, click here:
http://insideuw.wisc.edu/october-8-2015/

To read more about these surveys, and UWSC’s role in administering them, click here:
http://news.wisc.edu/24075?utm_source=iUW&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=iUW2015-10-08

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9/2015

UWSC's Milwaukee Area Renters Study (MARS) spotlighted by MacArthur Foundation announcement of Class of 2015 MacArthur Fellows. Principal investigator of MARS, Dr. Matthew Desmond - now at Harvard University - has been selected as a fellow.

To read more about Dr. Desmond’s work: https://www.macfound.org/fellows/933/

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8/2015

UWSC has become a Charter Member of the Transparency Initiative of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).

Just as members of AAPOR agree to abide by AAPOR’s Code of Professional Ethics and Practices, organizations that join the Transparency Initiative agree to follow practices for disclosing the way data were collected that allow researchers and data users to understand how their data were produced. Our membership recognizes the record we have of following the highest standards in data collection and disclosure. By joining the Transparency Initiative, we encourage other organizations to do the same, we participate in an additional resource to use in educating our clients about standards for high-quality data collection, and express our commitment to continued excellence in a field that is constantly changing. Because UWSC has consistently followed sound practices for data collection and reporting, membership in the Transparency Initiative will lead to few changes in practice.

More information about the AAPOR Transparency Initiative can be found here:
http://www.aapor.org/AAPORKentico/Transparency-Initiative.aspx

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8/2015

Senior project directors interviewed by MJS for detailed health article about stool sample collection

Senior project directors, Kerryann DiLoreto and Ken Croes were interviewed by MJS journalist Mark Johnson for this detailed health article about the successful stool sample collection effort for the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study.

To read the article, click here.

To read a related UW College of Letters & Science article, click here.

To learn more about the WLS Microbiome Pilot Study, click here

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7/2015

UWSC is pleased to offer an exhibit of photography by local Madison artist, Michelle Klock

UWSC is pleased to offer an exhibit of photography by local Madison artist, Michelle Klock, in its public art gallery on the 4th floor of Sterling Hall. In this show, Klock, offers framed work of places recognizable to many from around Wisconsin. Her photos allow viewers to connect with the beauty of everyday and common surroundings.

The UW Survey Center hosts changing art exhibits in their hallways throughout the year.
Gallery open during regular building hours - 8am to 8pm, Monday - Saturday

Click here to visit Michelle Klock's website

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6/2015

The UWSC joins ICTR as a Community-Academic Partnership Program

The UWSC is excited to announce a new collaboration with ICTR (the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research). In June, the UWSC joined and became one of the 27 UW and Marshfield Programs that are part of the ICTR CAP (Community-Academic Partnership) Program. ICTR CAP mobilizes resources by centralizing and organizing research networks, creating new networks, and creating and adapting research and training programs. As an ICTR CAP program, the UWSC is thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate and be a potential partner for faculty and community stakeholders. “While the UWSC has provided research services to members in the past, we are extremely enthusiastic about increasing awareness of members to the myriad of services and expertise we can bring to partners and their studies and programs. We look forward to the many new opportunities to work with our colleagues in ICTR” notes Associate Director John Stevenson. See https://ictr.wisc.edu/2014_CAPProgramsAffiliates#CurrentICTRCAPProgramsandAffiliates for more information on ICTR-CAP Programs and Affiliates.

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5/2015

We Collected What??? Designing In-Home Collection of Stool and Water Samples for the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study

UWSC conducted a series of focus groups, then launched a pilot effort to collect human microbiome samples, drinking water samples and tests, and a self-administered questionnaire from a subset of Graduate and Sibling participants and their spouses or partners for the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS).

This pilot effort was the first of its kind to better understand the human microbiome and its relationship to health outcomes by partnering cutting-edge microbiology research with a landmark social science dataset. The wealth of data about life experience and health already collected and analyzed by WLS hold immense potential to lead to new findings when combined with research on the human microbiome.

UWSC collected over 400 stool and water samples from Graduates and Siblings, as well as from their spouses and partners. The response rate among the Graduates and Siblings was 70% for the samples, with a 90% cooperation rate for the SAQ.

Click here to view slides from a presentation by Karen Jaques, Kerryann DiLoreto, and Rae Ganci Hammers on this collection effort. More information on the pilot effort and WLS can be found at www.wisls.org.

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4/2015

UWSC Survey Methodologist Jennifer Dykema elected to serve as Associate Conference Chair of AAPOR

Jennifer Dykema, Survey Methodologist and Senior Scientist at the UW Survey Center, has been elected to serve as the Associate Conference Chair of AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research). (Click here for AAPOR’s press release.) Her term will begin at AAPOR's 70th Annual Conference on May 14-17, in Hollywood, Florida. In describing how her background and experience prepared her to handle the job of Associate Conference Chair, Jen noted: "As the primary survey methodologist for one of the largest university-based survey research centers, I interact with data producers and consumers at all levels. My job is to increase knowledge and spread appreciation for evidence-based research practices. To be effective, I must stay abreast of the latest developments in our rapidly changing field. Throughout my career, the AAPOR conference has been an annual touchstone event. It provides motivation for excellence, a platform for creating and socializing new research, a place for building new connections and refreshing old ones, a forum for furthering knowledge, challenging assumptions, and, together, advancing our field. My roles within AAPOR have progressively broadened and deepened my perspective on what makes a successful conference. As Special Events/Social Activities Coordinator, I gained an appreciation for the importance of incorporating fun and collegiality prominently into the conference equation. Serving as Chair of the Membership and Chapter Relations Committee allowed me to channel my enthusiasm for this organization to the challenge of promoting diversification and growth of membership, while strengthening connections with our local chapters. Finally, from a content standpoint I’ve relished the last three years serving on the Conference Chair’s Committee, reviewing abstracts and helping organize relevant and engaging sessions." Jen is thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to help “laissez les bons temps rouler” in New Orleans in 2017!

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3/2015

UWSC Staff to participate in the 49th annual IFD&TC (International Field Directors and Technologies Conference)

Several staff from the UWSC will participate in the 49th annual IFD&TC in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on May 17th - 20th 2015. Staff participation will range from presentations, to round table discussions and panel discussions. Staff names appear in bold.

Steve Coombs and Garrett Wartenweiler "Staffing Up: Comparing Full-Time and Part-Time CATI Interviewers"

  • This presentation describes the UWSC's experience transitioning a number of part-time CATI staff into full-time CATI Interviewing positions, and compares their quality of work, calling rates, scheduling reliability, costs, and other factors before and after the change.

Ken Croes and Kerryann DiLoreto "Ensuring High Quality Anthropometric Measures and Physical Performance Assessments in a National In-Home Survey: Interviewer Training and Quality Control in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study "

  • This presentation will give an overview of the training and quality control of field interviewers on the physical measurements collected in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study.

Karen Jaques and Kerryann DiLoreto "You're Collecting What?? Designing In-Home Collection of Stool and Water Samples"

  • The presentation will discuss design considerations, implementation challenges, and preliminary results of the field effort to collect stool and water samples from past participants in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study.

Chris Schlapper "Development and Use of a Project Management Database System"

  • This presentation will demonstrate and discuss the Project Management Database, a centralized database and web application used to assist the management and staff at the University of Wisconsin Survey Center in tracking and implementing projects from proposal through production.

John StevensonAugust SalickBob Cradock, and Jennifer Dykema "A Brief History of Cell RDD Performance"

  • This presentation will describe UWSC's experience calling landline versus cell phone samples for the Wisconsin BRFSS (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System). The purpose of the comparison is to examine how response rates, yield, effort, and cost of conducting RDD landline and cell phone surveys is changing over time.

Eric WhiteBrendan Day, and Chris Schlapper "Focused Tech: Case management systems for small/medium size organizations"

  • This UWSC panel will present on the history and evolution of their field case management system, tracking its evolution from simple to complex. Panelists will discuss the applications and programming languages used. Further discussion will address how similar functionality could be created using other programming languages and applications, allowing other organizations to leverage the expertise they already have using software that differs from UWSC's preferred software.

Nathan Jones, Katherine Mason, Esther Ullman "Adapting Interviewer Training Across Cultures in Developing Countries"

  • Several of the survey organizations that participate in IFD&TC provide technical support for the establishment surveys and training in developing countries throughout the world.

Kelly Elver, Andrew L. Hupp, Donnalee Grey-Farquharson "Mixed Mode Design Considerations"

  • Considerations for adapting interviewer-administered questionnaires for self-administered questionnaires and other mixed mode topics.

John Stevenson "Approaches to Client Management"

  • Discuss how to re-shape current client-center relationships, approaches to successfully convince clients of your expertise, how to evaluate client satisfaction, and act on satisfaction feedback.

Click here to visit the IFD&TC (International Field Directors and Technologies Conference) website. 

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3/2015

Project Management Director Kelly Elver and Survey Methodologist Jennifer Dykema participate in an Open House at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Staff from the UWSC participated in the "Epidemiology/Data Open House" sponsored by the Division of Public Health within the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Project Management Director Kelly Elver and Survey Methodologist Jennifer Dykema presented a poster titled, "UW Survey Center and DHS: The Wisconsin Idea at Work." The poster highlights the long-term collaboration between the UWSC and DHS to collect data to improve the health of Wisconsin residents. The UWSC conducts many studies for DHS including: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for Wisconsin; Family Health Survey (FHS); Mental Health Customer Satisfaction Survey; Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS); and Synar Smoking Audit. "Developing and adhering to best practices in survey design and implementation, the UWSC collaborates with Wisconsin Department of Health Services substantive experts to develop high quality tools and methods for collecting accurate, reliable, and valuable data," note the presenters.

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3/2015

Faculty Director Nora Cate Schaeffer and Survey Methodologist Jennifer Dykema participate in the 2015 AASRO meeting

The Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations (AASRO) held their 9th Annual Meeting at Rutgers University. There, participants previewed a preliminary version of "AASRO General Interviewer Techniques Training Program," a collaborative effort by researchers at the UWSC and the University of Michigan to create an online, evidence-based course for training new interviewers on standardized interviewing techniques. The meeting also featured sessions on how to effectively "communicate what we do" as academic survey research centers, GIS in survey research, and IT systems and software for survey project management. Scott Keeter of the Pew Research Center and Cliff Zukin, former AAPOR president, gave invited talks. In addition, there was discussion and information-sharing on the challenges and issues facing academic survey research centers.
Link to 
AASRO.

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2/2015

How does response option order and question order affect self-rated health? A collaborative project between researchers at the UWSC and Loyola University Chicago investigates effects in a new journal article

In collaboration with Dana Garbarski (Loyola University Chicago), the UWSC Faculty Director Nora Cate Schaeffer and Senior Scientist Jennifer Dykema present findings from a web survey assessing the impact of response option order and question order on the distribution of responses to the self-rated health (SRH) question in "Online First" for the journal Quality of Life Research.
In an online panel survey sponsored by 
Time-sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences (TESS), the authors implemented a 2-by-2 between-subjects factorial experiment, manipulating the following levels of each factor: (1) order of response options ("excellent" to "poor" versus "poor" to "excellent") and (2) order of SRH item (either preceding or following the administration of domain-specific health items). Results indicated mean SRH was higher (better health) and proportion in "fair" or "poor" health lower when response options were ordered from "excellent" to "poor" and SRH was presented first compared to other experimental treatments. Presenting SRH after domain-specific health items increased its correlation with these items, particularly when response options were ordered "excellent" to "poor." Among participants with the highest level of current health risks, SRH was worse when it was presented last versus first.
"While more research on the presentation of SRH is needed across a range of surveys, we suggest ordering response options from 'poor' to 'excellent' in order to reduce positive clustering, and given the question order effects found, we suggest presenting SRH before domain-specific health items in order to increase inter-survey comparability, as domain-specific health items will vary across surveys," advises Dr. Garbarski.
(Users within the University of Wisconsin can download the full article 
here. Others should contact Jennifer Dykema for a copy.)

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10/2012

UWSC Researchers are invited participants at National Science Foundation's (NSF) Workshop on the Future of Survey Research

Faculty Director Nora Cate Schaeffer and Survey Methodologist Jennifer Dykema are among the invited presenters and discussants at the Workshop on the Future of Survey Research held at the National Science Foundation 3-4 October.

More details can be found here.

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1/2015

UWSC welcomes Linda Gomez as a CATI Survey Research Supervisor

Linda Gomez joined the UW Survey Center CATI Survey Research Supervisor team on January 20, 2015.

Linda has several years experience working in UW Survey Center CATI operations as a CATI Interviewer and CATI Shift Leader. As a member of the UWSC CATI Supervisor team her responsibilities include hiring and training of CATI interviewers, supervision of CATI interviewers and Shift Leaders, and quality control.

UWSC is excited to welcome Linda to the CATI Supervisor team. Her experience and enthusiasm for survey research is a great addition to the UWSC CATI center.

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1/2015

UWSC welcomes public art exhibit featuring the work of Karen Watson-Newlin and Don Gruenweller

UWSC is pleased to offer an exhibit of paintings by artists Karen Watson-Newlin and Don Gruenweller in its public art gallery on the 4th floor of Sterling Hall.

In this show, Karen Watson-Newlin displays 18 new pieces that display her experimentation and deft hand with concept, color, forms and textures. The resulting abstract works are bright, lively, and invigorating.

First-time UWSC artist Don Gruenweller offers a collection of ethereal and otherworldly paintings and mixed media pieces. Rich tones, bright colors, and exuberant textures invite you to look closer.

The UW Survey Center hosts changing art exhibits in their hallways throughout the year.

Gallery open during regular building hours - 8am to 8pm, Monday - Saturday

Click here to visit Karen Watson-Newlin's website

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1/2015

UWSC staff to participate in the 70th annual AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference

Several staff from the UWSC will present at the annual meeting of the 2015 conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) in Hollywood, Florida on May 14-17. As in previous years, UWSC staff will demonstrate their contributions to survey research methodology by delivering presentations of current research (staff names appear in bold):

Kerryann Diloreto, Jennifer Dykema, Karen Jaques, and Nadia Assad, "Effects of ACASI Voice Choice and Voice Persona on Reports to Questions about Sensitive Behaviours among Young Adults"

  • This study analyzes results from an experiment embedded in the ACASI section of the California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study in which respondents were randomly assigned (1) to hear one of three types of prerecorded voices or (2) presented with the option of selecting from among the three voices.Voices were selected to represent different personas, including an empathetic-sounding voice, a professional-sounding voice, and a synthetic (text-to-speech) voice.The analysis examines the effects of voice choice and the type of voice listened to on levels of reporting about sensitive behaviors, item nonresponse, and the proportion of audio listened to as well as the effect of literacy on respondents' propensity to turn the audio off.

Nora Cate Schaeffer, Dana Garbarski, Jennifer Dykema, Douglas W. Maynard, Bo Hee Min, and Ellen Dinsmore, "Refusal Conversions across Calls: Interviewer's Actions in Initial Calls and Their Consequences"

  • This study uses recordings from an analytic sample from the 2004 wave of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study of a case control study of paired declinations and acceptances matched on the sample members' propensity to participate in the survey.The analysis identifies and codes actions for which the refusing sample member was subsequently converted in a later call and compares these to interactions in which the refusing sample member was not converted.

Dana Garbarski, Jennifer Dykema, Kenneth D. Croes, Tara Piché, and Dorothy F. Edwards, "How Respondents Report Their Health Status: Cognitive Interviews of Self-Rated Health Across Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Age, and Socioeconomic Status"

  • This study extends previous research that explores factors respondents take into account when reporting their self-rated health ("Would you say your health in general is excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor?"). The analysis uses data from cognitive interviews to examine in detail: (1) which health factors respondents take into account; and (2) how respondents take these health factors into account. The targeted sample of respondents is structured to examine differences in health ratings across social groups, including race/ethnicity, gender, age, and education. By focusing on respondents' explanations of how they formulated their response in addition to which health factors they considered, the authors are able to describe a more complete model of how respondents rate their health, with particular attention to variations across social groups.

Dana Garbarski, Nora Cate Schaeffer, and Jennifer Dykema, "Examining Interviewers' Ratings of Respondents' Health: Associations with Health Correlates, Respondents' Self-Rated Health, and Mortality"

  • This study uses data from a 2011 face-to-face survey in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study to examine which respondent and interviewer characteristics are associated with 1) interviewers' ratings of respondents' health and 2) discordance between interviewers' ratings and self-ratings of respondents' health. The presentation also explores whether factors such as respondents' answers to self-rated health and other physical and mental health items, and respondents' ability to perform tests of physical functioning account for the link between the interviewers' ratings of respondents health and mortality.

Click here to visit the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) website.

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12/2014

Faculty Director Nora Cate Schaeffer to serve on National Academies' Standing Committee

The National Academies' Standing Committee on Integrating New Behavioral Health Measures into the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) Data Collection Programs had its first meeting in December. Faculty Director Nora Cate Schaeffer is among the Committee members who will assist SAMHSA and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in their responsibilities to expand the measures of behavioral health in SAMHSA data collection programs. More information is available on the National Academies' website.

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12/2014

UWSC Welcomes Jacek Kraszewski as a project director

Jacek Kraszewski will join the UW Survey Center project direction team as a Project Director on January 1, 2015.

Jacek has a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a concentration in analysis and research (CAR). While completing his undergraduate degree, Jacek served as an intern at the UWSC as part of the CAR program. Since graduating with his BA in 2013, Jacek has been pursuing his Master's degree in Education Leadership and Policy Analysis at UW-Madison, and served as a T.A. for an Intro to Quantitative Analysis course, as well as a P.A. to Professor Peter Goff, investigating temporal effects on survey response. In addition, Jacek has served as a project assistant at DoIT Evaluation Design and Analysis, where he has gained experience in designing and implementing web surveys.

UWSC is excited to welcome Jacek to our project directing team. We look forward to applying his education research and web survey expertise to our many current and upcoming education survey research projects.

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12/2014

Wave 1 of the CalYOUTH Study Final Youth Report Released

In 2012, the UWSC conducted 727 in-person interviews with 17-year olds in foster care across the state of California, achieving a 95.3% response rate.The UWSC will be following up with these youth at age 19 in 2015, and again at age 21 in 2017.

The University of Chicago's Final Report from the 2012 baseline survey is available here.

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11/2014

UWSC welcomes Nadia Assad as a project director

Nadia Assad joined the UW Survey Center project direction team as a Project Director on November 1, 2014.

Nadia has a Master's degree in Sociology from the UW-Madison, and has taught and lectured at both UW-Madison and Madison College. Nadia's professional experience includes having managed survey research projects in Pakistan for the United Nations and the World Bank. She joined the staff at the UWSC in 2012 as a telephone interviewer, and for the past year and a half has worked as a shift leader on several major telephone survey projects, while assisting UWSC's Survey Methodologist Dr. Jen Dykema with the development of questionnaire review and design infrastructure, and the publication of several journal articles.

UWSC is excited to welcome Nadia to our growing staff of project directors. We look forward to applying her hands-on data collection expertise along with her methodological survey research training and skills to the projects currently underway and upcoming at the Center.

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11/2014

UWSC welcomes Rob Schultz as a programmer

Rob Schultz joined the UW Survey Center IT team as a programmer on November 1, 2014.

Rob has many years of experience working with the field operations group at UWSC. He started as a CATI interviewer and quickly rose through the ranks and was a CATI supervisor from 2010 - 2014. As a supervisor he trained interviewers, managed other suprvisory staff, and worked closely with other groups within UWSC to develop and improve project and organizational best practices and procedures. As a member of the programming team his responsibilities include application development, network and hardware support, writing and debugging survey instruments, and data preparation and delivery.

UWSC is excited to welcome Rob to the IT team. His breadth and depth of survey research experience is a great asset that will help the IT team support both other groups within UWSC as well as the work of our clients .

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10/2014

UWSC welcomes Dr. Margarete Wichmann as a project director

Dr. Margarete Wichmann joined the UW Survey Center project direction team as a Project Director on October 1, 2014.

Margarete has recently completed her Ph.D in Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and for the past year worked as a Postdoctoral Trainee at the Institute on Aging, with the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, School of Medicine and Public Health. During Margarete's graduate work, she worked for four years as a project manager for 2 population-based cohort studies, the Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study (EHLS) and the Beaver Dam Offspring Study (BOSS).

UWSC is excited to welcome Margarete to our growing staff of project directors. We look forward to applying her health research expertise to our many current and upcoming health and health-related survey research projects.

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08/2014

UWSC welcomes Marie Nitschke as a database administrator and web programmer

Marie Nitschke joined the UW Survey Center as a database administrator and web programmer in August, 2014.

Prior to joining UWSC Marie was an analyst at Tetra Tech, Inc., where she worked on all facets of social science data collection and research.

Marie has a Bachelor's degree in sociology from UW - Madison where she completed the rigorous Concentration in Analysis and Research (CAR) program. She has experience in both collecting and managing data for a number of large, longitudinal projects and she's worked with a variety of data collection and data management applications. We look forward to her contributions to the large, complex, multimode projects currently underway at UWSC.

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08/2014

UWSC staff participate in the 39th annual conference of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR)

UWSC staff will present papers at the annual meeting of the 2014 conference of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR) in Chicago, Illinois on November 21-22 (staff names appear in bold). One paper uses data from a 2011 face-to-face survey in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study to examine which respondent and interviewer characteristics are associated with interviewers' ratings of respondents' health. Recent research has found that while self-reports of health may be subject to various forms of reporting bias, global ratings of health by an outside observer may be more predictive of outcomes such as mortality. This was true of interviewers' ratings in Taiwan (see Todd and Goldman 2013), and the current authors seek to explore these relationships in the U.S. context. A second paper investigates how greeting exchanges between potential respondents and interviewers predict participation in a telephone survey. Although decisions to participate in a telephone survey are reached quickly, interactional process are complex. Drawing on previous work, the authors examine the acoustic and prosodic properties of sample members' greetings and reciprocity by interviewers.

  • Dana Garbarski, Nora Cate Schaeffer, and Jennifer Dykema, "Examining the Predictors of Interviewers' Ratings of Respondents' Health"
  • Thomas Purnell, Bo Hee Min, Nora Cate Schaeffer, Dana Garbarski, Jennifer Dykema, and Ellen Dinsmore, "Greeting and Response: Can We Predict Participation from the Call Opening?"
UWSC is proud to support MAPOR by contributing as a sponsor of the Conference, and Associate Director, John Stevenson, and Survey Methodologist, Jen Dykema, serve on MAPOR's Executive Council.

To visit the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR) click here.

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5/2014

UWSC welcomes public art exhibit featuring the work of Karen Watson-Newlin

UWSC is pleased to offer an exhibit of paintings by artist Karen Watson-Newlin, its forth public art exhibition on the 4th floor of Sterling Hall.

In this show, Karen Watson-Newlin displays 20 pieces of original work. Her visually rich, textural paintings explore various landscapes, seasons, and locales. The show includes different series: vistas of rural France, the Markets of Provence, and Wisconsin prairie lands, among others.

The UW Survey Center hosts changing art exhibits in their hallways throughout the year.

Gallery open during regular building hours - 8am to 8pm, Monday - Saturday

Click here to visit Karen Watson-Newlin's website

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5/2014

National Academies Press releases report, Estimating the Incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault

A panel assembled by the National Research Council's Committee on National Statistics has released a study that reviews issues in measuring rape and sexual assault. The panel, sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) of the U.S. Department of Justice, was charged with recommending methods for asking about rape and sexual assault in household surveys to yield appropriate national estimates. Faculty Director Nora Cate Schaeffer was one of the twelve panel members who contributed to the workshop, panel presentations, and resulting report. A free copy of the pdf of the report can be downloaded from the National Academies Press website after registering.

Click here to visit the National Academies Press website.

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1/2014

UWSC welcomes public art exhibit featuring the work of Rob Bach

UWSC is pleased to offer an exhibit of photography by Rob Bach for its third public gallery on the 4th floor of Sterling Hall.

In this show, Rob Bach displays over 30 pieces of original work, with each image attempting to bring the viewer to a new perspective on the world: views from high above the landscape, imagery from above the clouds capturing skyscapes, views from solitary treks along the back roads of quiet locales, and portraits of vintage aircraft.

The UW Survey Center will host changing art exhibits in their hallways throughout the year.

Gallery open during regular building hours - 8am to 8pm, Monday - Saturday

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1/2014

UWSC staff to participate in the 69th annual AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference on "Measurement and the Role of Public Opinion in a Democracy"

Several UWSC staff will present at the annual meeting of the 2014 conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) in Anaheim, California on May 15-18. As in previous years, UWSC staff will demonstrate their contributions to survey research methodology by delivering presentations of current research (staff names appear in bold):

  • Nora Cate Schaeffer, Dana Garbarski, Jennifer Dykema, Douglas W. Maynard, Bo Hee Min, and Ellen Dinsmore, "The Role of the Interviewer's Responsiveness in Avoiding and Converting Refusal"
  • Dana Garbarski, Nora Cate Schaeffer, Jennifer Dykema, Bo Hee Min, and Ellen Dinsmore, "The Role of Rapport and Standardization in Predicting Future Survey Participation: Interviewer-Respondent Interaction in Questions about End-Of-Life Planning and Preferences"
  • Dana Garbarski, Nora Cate Schaeffer, and Jennifer Dykema, "The Effects of Question Context and Response Option Order on Self-Rated Health"
Click here to visit the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) website.

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11/2013

UWSC staff participate in the 38th annual conference of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR)

UWSC staff are presenting a paper on straightlining in a mail-web mixed-mode survey at the annual meeting of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR) in Chicago, Illinois, November 22-23: "Straightlining: Overview of Measurement, Comparison of Indicators, and Effects in a Web-Mail Mixed-Mode Survey" by Yujin Kim, Jennifer Dykema, John Stevenson, Penny Black, and Paul Moberg (staff names appear in bold).

According to the abstract: "Straightlining occurs when survey respondents give identical (or nearly identical) answers to items in a battery of questions using the same response scale, which may lead to reduced data quality. Despite its potential importance, the small body of research examining straightlining does not use a standard measurement technique. Further, while mixed-mode studies increase in prevalence, few examine straightlining in mail versus web surveys. Our paper has the following goals: (1) compare methods for detecting straightlining; and (2) examine effects of mode, education, and incentives on straightlining in a sequential web-mail mixed-mode survey. Data are from a 2010 survey of alcohol beliefs and consumption in which 7,200 young adults were sampled from driver's license records in Wisconsin and randomly assigned to web-mail or mail-web treatments. Respondents initially received either a postal letter with URL (web-mail) or a mailed survey (mail-web) along with a pre-incentive ($1 versus $2). For those not responding to the initial mode, mode was switched and respondents received contacts in opposing mode. We identify five distinct straightlining measures: 1) proportion of respondents using the same category in a battery (Herzog & Bachman, 1981); 2) standard deviation or variance around a battery (Krosnick & Alwin, 1988); 3) rho (Krosnick & Alwin, 1988); 4) mean of the root of absolute differences between pairs of items in a battery (Mulligan et al., 2001); and 5) maximum number of identical categories used (Holbrook et al., 2003). While the first two measures provide useful descriptive summaries, we argue they are not as refined as other measures, which are highly correlated. Preliminary results indicate that education is positively related to straightlining. However, while we find no significant effects of mode of assignment or incentives on straightlining, some evidence indicates that the mode in which the respondent completed the survey is associated with straightlining."

UWSC is proud to support MAPOR by contributing as a Bronze Level Sponsor of the Conference, and Associate Director, John Stevenson, and Survey Methodologist, Jen Dykema, serve on MAPOR's Executive Council.

To visit the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR) click here.

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11/2013

"Questions for Surveys: Current Trends and Future Directions" by UWSC Faculty Director Nora Cate Schaeffer and Survey Methodologist Jennifer Dykema in the 75th Anniversary Issue of Public Opinion Quarterly is among the most read articles in Public Opinion Quarterly.

Download a free copy here.

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11/2013

UWSC achieves 95% response rate for CalYOUTH Study

UWSC Field interviewers completed over 725 in-person interviews for Wave 1 of the CalYOUTH Study attaining a 95.5% response rate overall. This is a major achievement for the baseline round of interviews with foster care youth across 52 counties in California.

More information about the CalYOUTH Study can be found here.

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10/2013

UWSC welcomes second public art exhibit

UWSC is pleased to offer an exhibit of two Madison Art Guild members for its second public gallery on the 4th floor of Sterling Hall.

In this show, Vera Nikiforov and Phillip Billings join to display over 30 pieces of their original work. Ms. Nikiforovi's oil and acrylic portraits are evocative and appealing, a luscious palette of colors. Mr. Billing's photography captures landscapes drenched in color and wildlife up close.

The UW Survey Center will host changing art exhibits in their hallways throughout the year.

Gallery open during regular building hours - 8am to 8pm October 1  to December 31, 2013

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10/2013

National Academies Press releases report, Nonresponse in Social Science Surveys: A Research Agenda

A panel assembled by the National Research Council's Committee on National Statistics has released a study of why survey response rates are declining and what this means for the accuracy of survey results. The report, funded by the Russell Sage Foundation, presents an agenda for future research on these issues. Faculty Director Nora Cate Schaeffer was one of the ten panel members who contributed to the workshop, panel presentations, and resulting report.

Click here to obtain a free PDF of the report at the NAP web site.

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09/2013

Article on "Surveying Clinicians by Web: Current Issues in Design and Administration" by UWSC staff featured in special issue of Evaluation & the Health Professions

The September issue of Evaluation & the Health Professions is devoted to articles focused on "Surveying Clinicians." Among the articles featured is a paper by UWSC staff members Jennifer Dykema, Nathan Jones, Tara Piché and John Stevenson on "Surveying Clinicians by Web: Current Issues in Design and Administration."

According to the abstract: "The versatility, speed, and reduced costs with which web surveys can be conducted with clinicians are often offset by low response rates. Drawing on best practices and general recommendations in the literature, we provide an evidence-based overview of methods for conducting online surveys with providers. We highlight important advantages and disadvantages of conducting provider surveys online and include a review of differences in response rates between web and mail surveys of clinicians. When administered online, design-based features affect rates of survey participation and data quality. We examine features likely to have an impact including sample frames, incentives, contacts (type, timing, and content), mixed-mode approaches, and questionnaire length. We make several recommendations regarding optimal web-based designs, but more empirical research is needed, particularly with regard to identifying which combinations of incentive and contact approaches yield the highest response rates and are the most cost-effective."

University of Wisconsin employees can download the paper directly here. Others should contact the corresponding author, Jennifer Dykema (dykema@ssc.wisc.edu), for a PDF of the paper.

Click here for the September issue of Evaluation & the Health Professions

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08/2013

The Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE), the world renowned authority on dialectal variation in the United States, will be piloting a new method of data collection starting in the fall of 2013. In its first round of data collection, from 1965 to 1970, DARE interviewers crisscrossed the United States in vans called Word Wagons and conducted interviews with 2,777 people in 1,002 communities. Equipped with paper questionnaires, sharp pencils, and reel-to-reel tape recorders, DARE interviewers documented the rich diversity in the way Americans spoke at mid-20th century. The first round of DARE fieldwork yielded over 2 million responses. Those responses, along with printed citations, resulted in more than 60,000 dictionary entries. The final print volume was published by Harvard University Press in 2013.

This round, rather than revving up the Word Wagons again, DARE will conduct a pilot study in Wisconsin using a UWSC web survey followed by an audio-recorded telephone interview. The web survey will administer many of the same questions that were asked in 1965-1970 in order to track changes in word use. It will also ask questions about items that have come into existence in the last fifty years. The telephone interviews will record the voices of study participants to see whether pronunciation patterns have changed over time.

The UWSC is delighted to be administering the web survey and telephone interviews on behalf of the Dictionary of American Regional English this round!

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06/2013

UWSC Project Director Nathan Jones travels to Africa to work on an early childhood assessment project in refugee camps

UWSC Senior Project Director Nathan Jones recently traveled to a Darfuri refugee camp in eastern Chad to conduct an early childhood assessment for a new preschool program. A non-governmental organization (NGO) called Little Ripples hired UWSC to evaluate the impact of the innovative peace-building curriculum on physical and emotional health, cognitive development, and other aspects of the students' lives. In June, Dr. Jones worked with the UN High Commission on Refugees and local Chadian NGOs to train 15 refugee interviewers and conduct surveys with 100 students and their primary caregivers. The project will check in with Little Ripples students several times during the pilot phase of the new preschool and provide data to a team of experts involved in evaluating and improving the program that will eventually reach 8,000 children in the Goz Amer and Djabal refugee camps.




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06/2013

Ken Croes serves as panelist at UW-Madison Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) event

Senior Project Director Ken Croes will speak at a panel discussion titled "What Every Quantitative Investigator Needs to Know About Working with a Qualitative Researcher." Sponsored by the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at the UW-Madison, the panel will address the increase in collaborations between quantitative and qualitative researchers in applied health research, where mixed-methods research designs offer new approaches to examine questions about health and healthcare. The panel will be held on June 18, 2013 (2:30-4:00 pm) at 1325 Health Sciences Learning Center.

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05/2013

UWSC staff participate in the 2013 Interviewer-Respondent Interaction Workshop

Several UWSC staff presented at the 2013 Interviewer-Respondent Interaction Workshop in Boston, Massachusetts on May 15-16. The purpose of the workshop was to foster research related to interviewers and interviewer-respondent interaction. UWSC staff names appear in bold:

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04/2013

In celebration of our 25th anniversary, UWSC invited UW-Madison Faculty and Staff to tour our new facility

In celebration of our 25th anniversary, UWSC invited UW-Madison Faculty and Staff to tour our new facility, centrally located in Sterling Hall. The response and excitement generated by our invitation was overwhelming! Nearly 75 people toured UWSC during the week of April 22nd. Tours were guided by senior UWSC staff and participants were provided an overview of our services and facilities, including our 60-station Telephone Call Center and our Mail and Data Entry and Tracking and Locating Departments. Tour guides answered questions both about the conduct of survey research, and how faculty and staff might work with UWSC to complete their survey research projects. We thank all who responded to our initial invitation and we invite other researchers to contact us at any time to learn more about our services.

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04/2013

UWSC staff to participate in the 68th annual AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference on "Asking Critical Questions: Toward a Sustainable Future for Public Opinion and Social Research"

Several UWSC staff will present at the annual meeting of the 2013 conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) in Boston, Massachusetts on May 16-19. As in previous years, UWSC staff will demonstrate their contributions to survey research methodology by presenting papers and posters (staff names appear in bold):

  • Kerryann DiLoreto, Jennifer Dykema, and Nora Cate Schaeffer, "Designing Questions to Measure Number of Sex Partners among At-risk Youths in ACASI (Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interviewing)"
  • Jennifer Dykema, Nora Cate Schaeffer, and Dana Garbarski, "Associations between Interactional Indicators of Problematic Questions and Systems for Coding Question Characteristics"
  • Dana Garbarski, Nora Cate Schaeffer, and Jennifer Dykema, "Rapport, Sensitivity, and Proxy Reporting: Questions about End-Of-Life Planning and Interviewer-Respondent Interaction"
To visit the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) website click here.

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04/2013

UWSC staff to participate in the annual IFD&TC (International Field Directors and Technologies Conference)

UWSC staff will continue their tradition of providing a strong presence at the annual International Field Directors and Technologies Conference (IFD&TC) to be held in Providence, Rhode Island from May 19-22. A large group of UWSC staff are presenting at the annual meeting including (staff names appear in bold):

  • Chad Kniss: "Lessons Learned from Replacing an RDD Sample with an Address-Based Sample for a Telephone Survey"
  • Rob Schultz: "Practical Considerations for Production Staff when Fielding a CATI Survey with an Address Based Sample (ABS) Frame"
  • Carrie Barrett and Nick Schultz: "Best Practices in Quality Control for Mail Surveys and Data Entry"
  • Steve Bochte: "Designing a CAPI Case Management and Synchronization Infrastructure"
In addition to these presentations, John Stevenson (UWSC Associate Director) and Kelly Elver (Director of Project Management) will be working behind the scenes on the Organizing Committee, and Eric White, Steve Coombs, Kerryann DiLoreto, Tara Piche and Griselle Sanchez will be serving as facilitators.

To visit the International Field Directors and Technologies Conference website click here.

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04/2013

Issue of Public Opinion Quarterly edited by UWSC researchers

Jennifer Dykema (Survey Methodologist) and Nora Cate Schaeffer (Faculty Director) are guest editors of Public Opinion Quarterly's Special Issue: Topics in Survey Measurement and Public Opinion. Public Opinion Quarterly is the official journal of the American Association for Public Opinion Research.

The issue is freely available to the public here.

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02/2013

Panel for the Future of Social Science Data Collection releases its report

The Panel on a Research Agenda for the Future of Social Science Data Collection (of the Committee on National Statistics of the National Research Council) has released its report: Nonresponse in Social Science Surveys: A Research Agenda, published by National Academies Press. Sociology Faculty member and UW Survey Center Faculty Director Nora Cate Schaeffer was a member of the Panel, whose report can be found here.

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01/2013

UWSC welcomes first public art exhibit

UWSC is pleased to offer a contemplative photography installation for its first ever public gallery on the 4th floor of Sterling Hall.

In this show the Madison Miksang Society offers images of Color, Light, and Shadow, Flowers and Weeds, Heaven Earth and Human, Visual Haiku, Ordinary Personal World, Impressionism, Orderly Chaos, and Absolute Eye - a study of perception and the New York School of Modern Art. The work of 9 local artists comprises this exhibit: Mark Sweet, Miriam Hall, Ann Hall, Lennie Birkett, Angela Johnson, Ingrid Kelley, Jim Schneider, Darryl Hall, and Peter Hewson.

Miksang Contemplative Photography is a school of photography that emphasizes process over product. Miksang is a Tibetan word that translates as 'Good Eye', and is based on the teachings of the late meditation master, artist, and scholar Chögyam Trungpa. The perceiver (photographer) practices becoming more available to the things around them without the biases, filters and formulas often associated with photography. Experience and expression of day-to-day moments becomes more rich and endlessly varied-beyond what we usually think. One moment, one shot. The understanding is that if we see better, we will, in fact, compose and deliver more beautiful images. Students of Miksang work with their natural process of Flash of Perception, and through that awareness, discover anew their everyday worlds. Miksang emphasizes the richness of the life right in front of us, rather than exotic travel or topics.

The UW Survey Center will host changing art exhibits in their hallways throughout the year.

Gallery open during regular building hours - 8am to 8pm - January 22nd through March 31st, 2013

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10/2012

UWSC staff to participate in 2012 Health Disparities Summit

UWSC will present at the 2012 Science of Eliminating Health Disparities Summit (also called the 2012 Health Disparities Summit). The summit will be held on Wednesday, October 31st through Friday, November 2nd, 2012 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Staff names appear in bold:

  • "Cognitive Interviewing: Toward a Better Understanding of the Barriers to Biomedical Research Participation in Underrepresented Communities." Jennifer Dykema, Tara Piché, Kenneth Croes, Jesus Renteria, Wade Gunn, Linda Gomez, Diane Michalski Turner, Tracy Schroepfer, Siettah Parks, Christa Fields, Dorothy F. Edwards
  • "Barriers to Participation in Biomarker Research: Key Informant Interviews of Black and White Adults." Dorothy Farrar Edwards, Tracy Schroepfer, Gail Groth, Wade Gunn, Diane Michalski Turner, and Jennifer Dykema
The summit is sponsored by the The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), under the leadership of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). To learn more click here.

 

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10/2012

UWSC Researchers awarded grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Faculty Director Nora Cate Schaeffer and Survey Methodologist Jennifer Dykema received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study Interactional Influences on Survey Participation. Douglas W. Maynard and Dana Garbarski are collaborators on this project that has funding for two years.

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09/2012

UWSC Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, to participate in DC-AAPOR's sixth annual Public Opinion Quarterly (POQ) Special Issue Conference on September 27, 2012

UWSC Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, will participate in DC-AAPOR's sixth annual Public Opinion Quarterly (POQ) Special Issue Conference on September 27, 2012. Dr. Schaeffer will be presenting a summary of her article "Questions for Surveys: Current Trends and Future Directions" (co-authored w/Jennifer Dykema). This year's conference highlights the 75th anniversary issue of POQ titled "The Past, Present, and Future of Survey Methodology and Public Opinion Research." The conference will host many current and past editors of POQ as well as leading survey methodologists from across the country.

For more information click here.

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09/2012

UWSC is pleased to announce that Dan Lawrence is now a full-time programmer

Dan began working at UWSC as a CAR intern in 2011 and quickly assist with UWSC operations in many departments. His survey methodology training and technical skills allow him to immediately contribute to the IT group. Dan will be primarily working on CATI, CAPI, and DE instrument programming, preparing coded and cleaned data sets, and QC process improvement.

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09/2012

The Mid-Life in the US Study (MIDUS) expands nationally, with special focus on Milwaukee

UWSC is collecting interviews by phone and in-person for the Mid-Life in the US Study (MIDUS) to understand how adults overcome social and economic challenges and whether it matters for their health, with a special focus on human resilience in the face of adversity. For the next few months, special focus will be on Milwaukee, as field interviewers go door-to-door in selected neighborhoods to interview participants for the study.

To read the full news article, click here.

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08/2012

UWSC Featured in University of Wisconsin-Madison Sociology Department's Alumni Newsletter

The UW Survey Center was featured in the "Centers" section of the Summer edition of the UW-Madison Department of Sociology Alumni Newsletter.

To check out the newsletter, including the story about UWSC, click here.

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05/2012

UWSC's Associate Director, John Stevenson featured in the 2012 MAPOR Newsletter

UWSC's Associate Director, John Stevenson featured in the 2012 MAPOR Newsletter.

Click here for more.

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05/2012

Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, to deliver keynote address at the 2012 International Field Directors and Technologies Conference.

Nora Cate Schaeffer will deliver the keynote address at the 2012 International Field Directors and Technologies Conference on May 21st, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Schaeffer will speak on the topic "Still Here... The Interviewer in Survey Research".

To visit the International Field Directors and Technologies Conference website click here.

To visit Dr. Schaeffer's Home Page click here.

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05/2012

UWSC research assistant, Kristen Cyffka, awarded a 2012 AAPOR Student Travel Scholarship

Kristen Cyffka, a reseach assistant at UWSC, is one of eight recipients of a 2012 Student Travel Scholarship to attend the annual meeting of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) in Orlanda, Florida, May 17-20. Kristen will be presenting a paper on "SHOW Me the Money? Effects of Preincentives, Differential Incentives, and Envelope Messaging in an ABS Mail Survey", and is also a co-author on "What are the Odds? Lotteries vs. Cash Incentives. Response Rates, Cost and Data Quality for a Web Survey of Low-Income Former and Current College Students". Kristen will be graduating with a masters in statistics from UW-Madison in May.

Kristen has been working at the UWSC for the past year and writes of her experience: "Working at the Survey Center has been the highlight of my time at UW-Madison. It's been a wonderful learning experience, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be involved in original research. I'm excited to present our work at AAPOR, which will be my first conference, and I'm looking forward to hearing about other advances in the field from fellow survey researchers."

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05/2012

UWSC staff to participate in the annual IFD&TC (International Field Directors and Technologies Conference)

UWSC staff will continue to provide a strong presence at the annual International Field Directors and Technologies Conference (IFD&TC) to be held in Orlando, Florida from May 20-23. A large group of UWSC staff are presenting at the annual meeting including (staff names appear in bold):

  • Steve Coombs and Rob Schultz, Panel discussion on "Innovations in Training"
  • Kenneth Croes and Kerryann DiLoreto, Panel discussion on "Biomarkers"
  • Kerryann DiLoreto, Jennifer Dykema and Ben Taft, "Selecting and Recording Voices for ACASI (Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interviewing): Voice Characteristics and Other Considerations"
  • Kelly Elver, Panel discussion on "Planning Your Career in Survey Research"
  • Kate Golen, "iPad as Viewer and Memory Aid for Respondents in a Collaborative Approach to CAPI Interviewing"
  • Karen Jaques and Rae Ganci, "Designing Envelopes to Encourage Response: Considerations and Effects of Experimentation"
In addition to these presentations, Nora Cate Schaeffer (UWSC Faculty Director) wil deliver the keynote address, "Still Here ... The Interviewer in Survey Research," while John Stevenson (UWSC Associate Director) and Kelly Elver (Director of Project Management) work behind the scenes on the Organizing Committee.

To visit the International Field Directors and Technologies Conference website click here.

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04/2012

UWSC staff to participate in the 67th annual AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference

Several UWSC staff will present at the annual meeting of the 2012 conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) in Orlando, Florida on May 17-20. As in previous years, UWSC staff will demonstrate their contributions to survey research methodology by presenting papers and methodological briefs (staff names appear in bold):

  • Kristen Cyffka, Jennifer Dykema, John Stevenson, Kelly Elver, and Karen Jacques, "SHOW Me the Money? Effects of Preincentives, Differential Incentives, and Envelope Messaging in an ABS Mail Survey"
  • Jennifer Dykema, Nora Cate Schaeffer, and Dana Garbarski, "Effects of Agree-Disagree Versus Construct-Specific Items on Reliability, Validity, and Interviewer-Respondent Interaction"
  • Nora Cate Schaeffer, Dana Garbarski, Douglas W. Maynard, and Jeremy Freese, "An Interactional Model of the Call for Participation in the Survey Interview"
  • John Stevenson, Jennifer Dykema, Lisa Klein, Kristen Cyffka, and Sara Goldrick-Rab, "What are the Odds? Lotteries versus Cash Incentives. Response Rates, Cost and Data Quality for a Web Survey of Low-Income Former and Current College Students"
To visit the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) website click here.

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04/2012

UWSC Survey Methodologist, Jennifer Dykema, elected to AAPOR Executive Council

Jennifer Dykema, UWSC Senior Survey Methodologist and Research Scientist, has been elected Associate Chair of the Membership and Chapter Relations Committee of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Executive Council. Her term on the Executive Council will begin at AAPOR's 67th Annual Conference on May 17-20, in Orlando, Florida. In describing how her background and experience prepared her to handle the job of Associate Chair Membership and Chapter Relations, Jen noted: "In my role as the primary survey methodologist for one of the largest university-based survey research organizations, I have the opportunity to interact with survey data producers and consumers at all levels, including faculty, non-university clients, project directors, programmers, analysts, and interviewers. That view from all sides has confirmed for me the value that AAPOR and its chapters can provide to nearly anyone in the research process and data consumption chain. My job as methodologist is to increase knowledge and spread appreciation for proper research practices. I am excited by the prospect of translating that mission to the larger community by helping AAPOR perform that role for our field."

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03/2012

UWSC staff participate in the annual conference of the Population Association of American (PAA)

UWSC staff will present a poster at the 2012 annual meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA) in San Francisco on May 3-5. Their poster highlight results from an analysis of factors associated with participation in the collection of saliva samples by mail in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. The poster will be presented by Dana Garbarski on Thursday, May 3, from 8-10am.

For more information visit the PAA website at here.

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03/2012

UWSC Welcomes Dr. Nathan Jones as a senior project director

Dr. Nathan Jones will join the UW Survey Center project direction team as a Senior Project Director on April 1, 2012.

For the past 4 years, Nathan has been the Director of the Survey Research Shared Service (SRSS) at the University of Wisconsin's Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC). In addition to his work at the SRSS, Nathan has served as the Principle Investigator on many health-related research projects, worked as an epidemiologist for the Cancer Control and Outreach Program, and provided analytic and research support in his collaborations with members of the UWCCC. Before coming to the University of Wisconsin in 2008, Nathan spent several years as a Senior Service Fellow and Statistician/Demographer for the Centers for Disease Control and also worked at the RAND Corporation. Nathan has a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Demography and a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Sociology from Emory University.

UWSC is excited to welcome Nathan to our project directing corps. We look forward to applying his wealth of expertise in health-related survey research and years of project direction, study design and analytical experience to the many projects currently underway and upcoming at the Center.

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02/2012

UWSC researchers among 9 winners in RTI's 2012 Research Challenge

A proposal to study the "Measurement of Self-Reported Health," submitted by Dana Garbarski (UW Sociology graduate student), Nora Cate Schaeffer (UWSC Faculty Director), and Jen Dykema (UWSC Survey Methodologist) was among the winning entries in RTI's 2012 Research Challenge. The research team will have their questions included as part of an in-person survey of Chicago residents this spring. The goal of their proposal is to examine whether the validity of self-reported health is improved by varying question context and the ordering of the response options. The intent of their experiment is to make important contributions to research on survey methodology, health outcomes and disparities, and any field interested in capturing indicators of health in their surveys.

For more information click here.

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01/2012

New York Times article about cognitive research in MIDUS makes "Most e-mailed list"

The Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) conducted by UWSC recently received attention in the New York Times.

Click here to see the article.

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01/2012

Matt Salganik (Princeton) Discusses WikiSurveys

The Havens Center will sponsor three talks about WikiSurveys by Matthew Salganik, Department of Sociology, Princeton during March:

  • "Wiki Surveys: Open and Quantifiable Social Data Collection"
  • Tuesday, March 6, 4pm, 206 Ingraham Hall
  • "Working Together to figure stuff out: Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science"
  • Wednesday, March 7, 4pm, 8417 Social Science
  • Public workshop: "Finding the Best Ideas in the World: Practical Issues in the Uses of Wiki Surveys"
  • Thursday, March 8, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science
On Tuesday, Salganik will be presenting this paper, and it will be in the style of a traditional academic seminar. On Thursday, he will be running a workshop that will focus on what you actually need to do if you want to run a wiki survey using allourideas.org.

This hands-on workshop on Thursday will focus on the practical issues that arise when using allourideas.org to conduct wiki surveys. The workshop will begin by describing many of the different ways that the site has been used in the past. Next, he will describe the main steps in creating and running a wiki survey, and will offer advice based on the experiences of groups that he has worked with in the past. He will also describe the data that can be downloaded from the site for analysis. Finally, he will describe how the open-source code can be customized for different applications, focusing on projects by the government of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil and Wikipedia. Theoretical and statistical issues will be described in detail at the talk on Tuesday and will only be addressed in the Thursday talk on an as needed basis. Participants are encouraged to come with problems for which they are considering using wiki surveys. Laptops are welcome, but not required.

More details can be found here.

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12/2011

75th Anniversary Issue of Public Opinion Quarterly features "Questions for Surveys: Current Trends and Future Directions" by Nora Cate Schaeffer and Jennifer Dykema

The 75th Anniversary Issue of Public Opinion Quarterly features an article on questionnaire design by Faculty Director Nora Cate Schaeffer and Survey Methodologist Jennifer Dykema. In the article, titled "Questions for Surveys: Current Trends and Future Directions," the authors begin with a look back at the field to identify themes of recent research that they expect to continue to occupy researchers in the future. As part of this overview, they characterize the themes and topics examined in research about measurement and survey questions published in Public Opinion Quarterly in the past decade. They then characterize the field more broadly by highlighting topics that they expect to continue or to grow in importance, including the relationship between survey questions and the total survey error perspective, cognitive versus interactional approaches, interviewing practices, mode and technology, visual aspects of question design, and culture. Considering avenues for future research, they advocate for a decision-oriented framework for thinking about survey questions and their characteristics. The approach they propose distinguishes among various aspects of question characteristics, including question topic, question type and response dimension, conceptualization and operationalization of the target object, question structure, question form, response categories, question implementation, and question wording. Thinking about question characteristics more systematically would allow study designs to take into account relationships among these characteristics and identify gaps in current knowledge.

To access this article and all articles contained in the issue click here.

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11/2011

UWSC staff participate in the annual MAPOR (Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference

UWSC staff will present papers at the annual meeting of the 2011 conference of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR) in Chicago, Illinois on November 18-19. Their papers highlight results from two experiments recently conducted at the UW Survey Center. The first experiment involves an experiment in questionnaire design on the effects of agree-disagree versus construct-specific items on data quality. The second experiment looks at the effects of lotteries and other incentives on response rates, costs, and data quality in a web survey.(staff names appear in bold):

  • Jennifer Dykema, Nora Cate Schaeffer, and Dana Garbarski, "Measuring Political Efficacy: A Comparison between Agree/Disagree Versus Construct-Specific Items"
  • John Stevenson, Jennifer Dykema, Lisa Klein, Kristen Cyffka, and Sara Goldrick-Rab, "Effects of Post-Incentives on Response Rates, Costs, and Response Quality in a Web Survey of College Students"
To visit the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR) click here.

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11/2011

UWSC will soon start interviewing for Midlife in the United States (MIDUS), A National Study on Health and Well-Being featured in UW-Madison Campus News

Click here for more information.

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10/2011

UWSC Welcomes two new project directors to their project directing team!

Jaime Faus, previously a Survey Research Assistant has been promoted to Project Director. Jaime manages phone, mail and in person surveys at UWSC, with a focus on education research based studies.

Jaime has been with the UWSC since 2005 as an interviewer, was promoted to shift leader in 2006, and then to Survey Research Assistant in 2009. Jaime has a BA in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Rae Ganci, formerly a WLS Field Supervisor, joined the Project Directing team as well on September 1 of 2011.

Rae also came to the UWSC as an interviewer in 2005, was promoted to shift leader in 2006, and became a CAPI Field Supervisor for the WLS in 2009. Rae has a BA in Art History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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10/2011

UWSC and CDE to co-sponsor talk by Dr. Tim Beebe on "Issues and Advances in Health Survey Research Methods."

UWSC and the Center for Demography and Ecology (CDE) are co-sponsoring a talk by Dr. Tim Beebe on "Issues and Advances in Health Survey Research Methods." The seminar will focus on privacy and confidentiality issues, including use of the HIPAA authorization form, and effects on survey response rates, nonresponse bias, and data quality. Join us on Tuesday, October 25 from 12:30-1:45pm in Room 8417 Sewell Social Sciences Bldg. Click here for more information.

Dr. Beebe has a sustained record of conducting research in the area of survey methodology, including methodological experimentation to reduce survey error, the design, development, and evaluation of the administration of surveys in traditional modes (telephone, mail, face-to-face) as well as the integration of multiple modes and mixed methodologies, the design and testing of computer-interactive methods of data collection, and questionnaire development, testing, and validation.

Much of Dr. Beebe's work has been supported by extramural funds offered by NIH, AHRQ, RWJF, and HRSA. He has participated in, or organized, a number of different workshops or panels on survey methods-related topics for various entities such as the National Academy of Science and AcademyHealth and served on numerous NIH and CDC study sections as a survey expert.

Dr. Beebe has also been actively participating in scholarly activity in the areas of health care policy, racial and ethnic disparities to health care, and general clinical outcome assessment.

Click here for an extensive list of publications.

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09/2011

UWSC is excited to announce the arrival of new Database Administrator, Chris Schlapper

Chris most recently worked for the Southwest Family Care Alliance and has an extensive background in IT in healthcare settings. His experience synthesizing data from disparate sources and working with a broad range of clients and end users make him a valuable addition to the UWSC IT team. At UWSC Chris will primarily focus on developing new project management and data collection applications and databases.

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09/2011

Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, to teach "Survey Methods for Social Research (Sociology 751)" Fall Semester 2011

Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, is offering "Survey Methods for Social Research" this semester (Fall 2011) on Wednesdays from 7:45-10:45AM. The course examines the principal features of survey design and how they contribute to total survey error. Topics include: mode of interview, basic sampling concepts, effects of nonparticipation, issues in instrumentation, interviewing, and computer assisted data collection.

To visit Dr. Schaeffer's Home Page click here.

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08/2011

The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) reaches a milestone

Field interviewers have now completed over 7,000 in-person interviews for the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS). This is a major milestone for the landmark study of 1957 Wisconsin high school graduates and their siblings. Interviews for this round are expected to continue into 2012.

More information about the WLS can be found at the participant's website and the research website.

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06/2011

The Wisconsin Financial Aid Study (WiscAid) featured in the Wisconsin State Journal

A new article in the Wisconsin State Journal about the effects of financial aid on college persistence features data from the WiscAid study.

Click here to read the article.

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06/2011

The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) featured in TIME Magazine

A new article in TIME Magazine features the landmark Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS). According to author Annie Murphy Paul, "We're obsessed with those four years, but new research shows we're not defined by them."

Click here to read the article.

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05/2011

UWSC staff to participate in the annual IFD&TC (International Field Directors and Technologies Conference

UWSC staff will continue to provide a strong presence at the annual International Field Directors and Technologies Conference (IFD&TC) to be held in Scottsdale, Arizona in May. A large group of UWSC staff are presenting at the annual meeting including:

  • Crystal Buttles, "Implementing a Standardized Error Classification and Feedback System to Improve Data-Entry Performance"
  • Steve Coombs, "Using a Staffing Agency for Recruiting CAPI Interviewers on a Large National Study"
  • Kerryann DiLoreto, Kenneth Croes, Jessica Price, Leslie Erickson, Frank Mierzwa, Esther Ullman, and Katie Lundeen, Panel session on the "The Collection of Biomarkers"
  • Jennifer Dykema, Lisa Klein, and Colleen Porter, Panel session on "Incentives: Part I"
  • Rae Ganci and Nick Schultz, "Innovations in Quality Control Monitoring of Remote CAPI Employees"
  • Tara Piche, "Using Audio Recordings and Different Types of Feedback to Increase Efficiency in Quality Control Monitoring of CATI Interviewers"
  • Robert Schultz, "Refusal Aversion Training for CATI Interviewers"
  • Susan Sommers, Rita Koontz, and Sally Crandall, Panel session on "Incentives: Part II"
  • John Stevenson and Jennifer Dykema, Roundtable discussion on "Client Management"
  • Eric White, "From Dashboard to iDashboard"
In addition to these presentations, Kelly Elver and Lisa Klein will be working behind the scenes on the Organizing Committee.

To visit the International Field Directors and Technologies Conference website click here.

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05/2011

UWSC staff to participate in the 66th annual AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference

Several UWSC staff will present at the annual meeting of the 2011 conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) in Phoenix, Arizona on May 12-15. As in previous years, UWSC staff will demonstrate their contributions to survey research methodology by presenting papers and methodological briefs (staff names appear in bold):

  • Jennifer Dykema, Nora Cate Schaeffer, Jeremy Beach, Vicki Lein, and Brendan Day, "Designing Questions for Web Surveys: Effects of Check-List, Check-All and Stand-Alone Response Formats on Survey Reports and Data Quality"
  • Nora Cate Schaeffer, Dana Garbarski, Douglas W. Maynard, and Jeremy Freese, "Interactional Environments, Requests and Participation in the Survey Interview"
  • John Stevenson, Jennifer Dykema, Chad Kniss, Penny Black, and D. Paul Moberg, "Effects of Mode and Incentives on Response Rates, Costs and Response Quality in a Mixed Mode Survey of Alcohol Use Among Young Adults"
To visit the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) website click here.

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03/2011

UWSC will be presenting a poster on "Successful Surveys ... It's All in the Details (Improving Program Evaluation and Academic Research)" at the 12th Annual UW Showcase the morning of Wednesday, March 23

Associate Director, John Stevenson, and Survey Methodologist, Jen Dykema, will be presenting a poster on "Successful Surveys ... It's All in the Details (Improving Program Evaluation and Academic Research)" at the 12th Annual UW Showcase the morning of Wednesday, March 23. Showcase is a free all-campus event where presenters from dozens of units share innovative ideas they have implemented in the past year so that others can collaborate and work more effectively. It is typically attended by 400 to 500 people. Dr. Dykema will also participate in a Breakout Session on "Creating a 'Question-Able' Survey to Avoid Questionable Results".

Additional information is available at the Office of Quality Improvement Website, including the link to register to attend Showcase and to attend the lunchtime keynote presentation.

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03/2011

Faculty director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, and survey methodologist, Jen Dykema to serve as guest editors for POQ on a special issue devoted to "Measurement"

Guest editors Nora Cate Schaeffer and Jennifer Dykema seek submissions to Public Opinion Quarterly (POQ) for a special issue of the journal devoted to "Measurement". Measurement in survey research refers to the process of defining constructs, developing and then writing questions to measure those constructs, and fielding survey instruments. The goal of measurement is to assign numbers to survey responses to represent levels of respondents' true values, but imprecision and inaccuracy in measurement can result from problems in any of the stages from conceptualization to data collection. We invite contributions on topics addressing measurement in survey research. Potential topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • evaluation of qualitative methods and quantitative methods to develop and test measures of constructs
  • designing questions and instruments to improve the reliability and validity of survey measurement
  • the relationship between the design of survey instruments and the style of interviewing
  • training interviewers to improve the quality of measurement
  • analysis of interviewer effects on data collection and data quality
  • effects of interview mode on data collection and data quality
  • measurement challenges in special populations and across social groups or cultures
  • measurement for special topics such as sensitive questions and biological measurements
  • the use of developments in technology to improve survey measurement
  • evaluation of methods and standards for assessing and improving data quality
The deadline for manuscript submissions is December 31, 2011. To submit a manuscript, please follow the manuscript preparation instructions provided at the journal's website. Blinded and unblinded electronic copies of the paper should be submitted online here , and it should be clearly stated in a cover letter that the manuscript is for consideration of the special issue on measurement. Submissions will be peer-reviewed in accord with normal journal practice.

For questions about this special issue, please feel free to contact the special issue guest editors, Nora Cate Schaeffer at schaeffe@ssc.wisc.edu or Jennifer Dykema at dykema@ssc.wisc.edu

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02/2011

UWSC is excited to announce the arrival of a new Project Director, Tara Piché

Tara Piché, currently a Survey Research Supervisor in the UWSC Call Center is joining the project directing team. Tara will be managing a wide variety of projects, with a specific focus on working on our ever growing number of education-based research studies.

Tara has been with UWSC since 2003 as an interviewer, was promoted to shift leader in 2004, and then to Survey Research Supervisor in 2008. Tara has a BA in Psychology and Legal Studies from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and is currently pursuing a Certificate in the Foundations of Public Health from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor.

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01/2011

Findings from UWSC survey continue to indicate that "Madisonians still like it here"

The third annual resident satisfaction survey conducted by UWSC for the City of Madison's Office of the Mayor reveals that about 94 percent of those responding find the quality of life in Madison is good or better, and 91 percent believe Madison city services are good or better.

Click here to read the article from the Wisconsin State Journal.

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12/2010

Expansion of Milwaukee Area Renters Study funded by MacArthur Foundation

The MacArthur Foundation Board has approved a new grant under the How Housing Matters to Families and Communities research program to expand the Milwaukee Area Renters Study (MARS) for research on the implications of eviction on social, psychological and economic outcomes over the life course. UWSC conducted the first round of MARS during summer of 2009 through spring of 2010.

Click here for more information.

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12/2010

The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) is a "Survey that maps the life of a generation" according to a featured article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

New article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel features the groundbreaking Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS).

Click here to read the article.

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12/2010

Faculty director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, selected to participate in the Consumer Expenditure Methods Workshop

UWSC faculty director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, will be participating the Consumer Expenditure Methods Workshop to be held on December 8-9. The objectives of the CE Methods Workshop are to identify (a) existing knowledge and experience that can inform redesign decisions on key topics and (b) specific research projects, both small and large, that address outstanding issues. The key methodological topics that will be covered in the workshop include: global questions, interview structure, proxy reporting, recall period, and split questionnaire methods.

Click here for more information.

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11/2010

Faculty director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, selected as a member of the Panel on the Future of Social Science Data Collection of the National Research Council's Committee on national Statistics

UWSC faculty director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, is one of a panel of experts under the National Research Council's Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) to participate in developing a research agenda for addressing issues related to the deterioration in social science data stemming from the general decline in survey response by individuals and households. The panel will consider what is known about the causes and consequences of increasing nonresponse, the current state of survey methodology, and methods designed to improve response for surveys in the government, academic, and private sectors.

Click here for more information.

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11/2010

UWSC staff participate in the annual MAPOR (Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference

UWSC staff presented papers at the annual meeting of the 2010 conference of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR) in Chicago, Illinois on November 19-20. Their papers highlighted results from a sequential mixed-mode (mail/web) study of alcohol use among young adults and an experiment in questionnaire design on the effects of check-list, check-all, and stand-alone response formats on survey reports and data quality in a web survey (staff names appear in bold):

  • Jennifer Dykema, Nora Cate Schaeffer, Jeremy Beach, Vicki Lein, and Brendan Day, "Designing Questions for Web Surveys: Effects of Check-List, Check-All, and Stand-Alone Response Formats on Survey Reports and Data Quality"
  • John Stevenson, Jennifer Dykema, and Chad Kniss, "Effects of Mode and Incentives on Response Rates, Costs, and Response Quality in a Survey of Alcohol Use among Young Adults"
To visit the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR) click here.

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09/2010

UWSC Director of Project Management Kelly Elver and Project Director Lisa Klein Selected to International Field Directors and Technologies (IFD&TC) Organizing Committee

UWSC is pleased to announce that Director of Project Management Kelly Elver and Project Director Lisa Klein have been selected to serve on the International Field Directors and Technologies Organizing Committee. One of the leading conferences in the field of survey research, the IFD&TC brings together government, non-profit and academic survey research organizations from across the nation with a focus on best practices and innovations in the field. Kelly will be serving in the role of Co-Site Organizer, and Lisa will be serving as Co-Registrar Organizer. Both Kelly and Lisa are long-time attendees of the IFD&TC, and have presented on a wide range of survey practice topics, including innovations in address-based sampling, multi-modal data collection, tracking and locating, data quality, interviewer training, and survey non-response.

Click here for a complete list of UWSC publications and presentations.

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09/2010

UWSC is excited to announce that as of September 7, 2010 interviewers for the Wisconsinsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) have successfully interviewed 3,000 participants

Described as a one of the treasures of American social science, WLS interviews are being conducted in-person for the first time in the history of the study. Interviews are being held with Graduates from the class of 1957 and their Siblings. These interviews are occurring across the United States and abroad.

More information about the WLS can be found at the participants' website and the research website

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09/2010

Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, to teach "Measurement and Questionnaires for Survey Research (Sociology 752)" Fall Semester 2010

Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, is offering "Measurement and Questionnaire for Survey Reseach" this semester (Fall 2010) on Wednesdays from 7:45-10:45AM. This course provides an introduction to the conceptual issues raised by conducting measurement using self-reports in surveys, an overview of the literature that addresses theoretical and practical problems in questionnaire design, and practice in developing, reviewing, and writing standardized questions and questionnaires. Particular attention is paid to recent work that draws on cognitive psychology to inform designing standardized instruments. The course is structured around the stages of instrument development: developmental interviewing, question writing, question testing, pretesting, and questionnaire formatting. Issues involved in telephone interviews and computer-assisted interviews will be considered at several points, but the assignments use face-to-face interviews with paper instruments. The material covered in this course is relevant for standardized measurement in many social research contexts in addition to surveys, such as laboratory experiments.

To visit Dr. Schaeffer's Home Page click here

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08/2010

UWSC Badger Poll findings on hunting highlighted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Results from the latest UWSC Badger Poll indicate support for hunting is strong in Wisconsin. The story is featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Click here to read the article.

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08/2010

UWSC is excited to announce the arrival of new Project Director, Karen Jaques

Before joining the Survey Center, Karen worked as a research assistant for the Office of Applied Gerontology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she was involved with a national randomized clinical trial and network analysis for the Alzheimer's Association. She has several years of experience designing questionnaires, conducting telephone interviewing, data cleaning, and data analysis. She received her master of arts degree in sociology from UW-Milwaukee in 2010. Her graduate work focused on implementing research study protocol in non-profit organizations. She also holds a bachelor's degree in sociology and political science from UW-Milwaukee.

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05/2010

UWSC Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA)

UWSC Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, is among 53 international scholars elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA). Recipients are recognized for their outstanding professional contributions to and leadership in the field of statistical science. The Fellows will receive their certificates at a ceremony on Tuesday, August 3, at the annual Joint Statistical Meetings in Vancouver, British Columbia. The designation of Fellow has been a superlative honor in ASA for more than 90 years. The Committee on Fellows evaluates candidates' contributions to the advancement of statistics, giving due weight to publications, the positions held by the candidates in the organizations in which they are employed, activities within the association, membership and accomplishments in other societies, and other professional activities.

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05/2010

Handbook on Survey Research features UWSC Authors

The 2nd edition of the widely-recognized 1983 volume, Handbook of Survey Research, has been published by the Emerald Group Publishing Limited. The volume, edited by Peter V. Marsden and James D. Wright, updates its previous historical account of the development of survey research and the evolution of social science and examines new and expanded uses of survey research during the past half century. The volume includes chapters on sampling, measurement, questionnaire construction and question writing, survey implementation and management, survey data analysis, special surveys, and integrating surveys with other data collection methods. This handbook is distinguished from other texts by its greater comprehensiveness and depth of coverage including topics such as measurement models, the role of cognitive psychology, surveying networks, and cross-national/cross-cultural surveys. Timely and relevant it includes materials that are only now becoming highly influential topics.

UWSC contributors to chapters in the handbook include Nora Cate Schaeffer and Jennifer Dykema in the chapter titled "Interviewers and Interviewing."

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04/2010

UWSC staff to participate in the 65th annual AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference

Several UWSC staff will present at the annual meeting of the 2010 conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) in Chicago, Illinois on May 13-16. As in previous years, UWSC staff will demonstrate their contributions to survey research methodology by presenting papers and methodological briefs (staff names appear in bold):

  • Jessica Price, Kerryann Diloreto and Jennifer Dykema, "Effects of Gender-of-Voice on Reports of Sensitive Behaviors: Findings From the ACASI Module of the Midwest Young Adult Study"
  • Nora Cate Schaeffer and Jennifer Dykema, "Characteristics of Survey Questions: A Review"
  • John Stevenson, Jennifer Dykema, and Chad Kniss, "The Use of Monetary and Nonmonetary Incentives to Increase Response Rates in a Mail Survey of African-American Mothers"
  • Dana Garbarski, Nora Cate Schaeffer, and Jennifer Dykema, "Using Verbal and Paralinguistic Behaviors to Identify Mapping Difficulties in Responses"
To visit the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) website click here.

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04/2010

UWSC staff to participate in the annual IFD&TC (International Field Directors and Technologies Conference)

UWSC staff will continue to provide a strong presence at the annual International Field Directors and Technologies Conference (IFD&TC) to be held in Chicago, Illinois in May. A large group of UWSC staff are presenting at the annual meeting including (staff names appear in bold):

  • Steve Coombs and Nick Schultz, "Pathfinder: Routing Interviewers Efficiently for Field Studies"
  • Kelly Elver, "Lessons Learned Using Address Based Sampling to Conduct Mail Surveys of Populations Randomly Sampled From Among the General Population"
  • Lisa Klein, "Using Facebook As a Locating Tool on a Longitudinal Study of College Students"
  • Drew Vogel, "Implementing User Mode Linux"
  • In addition to these formal presentations, several UWSC staff will also be facilitating sessions on a variety of methodological issues.

To visit the International Field Directors and Technologies Conference website click here.

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03/2010

The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study begins a new round of interviews in March 2010

The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) began a new round of interviews on Friday, March 19, 2010. WLS interviews will be done in person, across the U.S., over the next 18 months. More information about the WLS can be found at the participants' website and the research website.

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03/2010

UWSC Badger Poll Faculty Director Katherine Cramer Walsh among featured panelists

The UWSC Badger Poll's Faculty Director Katherine Cramer Walsh was among the featured panelists at "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: The Nature of Tolerance in 2050" on Feb. 16 at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art Lecture Hall.

Click here for the article from the Madison Times.

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01/2010

Findings from UWSC study indicate "Madisonians like where they live"

A study conducted by UWSC for the City of Madison's Office of the Mayor finds Madisonians are happy with their city's services.

Click here for the article from the Wisconsin State Journal

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01/2010

UW Badger Poll used by Wisconsin Emergency Management to assess Wisconsinites' Preparedness for Disasters

Wisconsin Emergency Management and the Office of Justice Assistance commissioned questions on the Spring 2009 UW Badger Poll. The survey questions were to assess resident's preparation for emergency and disaster situations.

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01/2010

UWSC collecting survey data on the causes and consequences of eviction

The Milwaukee Area Renters Study (MARS) in the news!

Click here for the article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Click here for the article from the University of Wisconsin-Madison News.

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11/2009

The UWSC continues to grow with the addition of a new Project Director to our staff

Griselle Sanchez joins the UWSC project directing corp in December of 2009. Griselle comes to the UWSC from the UW Comprehensive Cancer Center, where she served as a program coordinator in the National Cancer Institutes's Cancer Information Service. Griselle adds her expertise in working with diverse and under served populations, and her interests in health disparities to the project directing skill set at UWSC.

We are excited to be welcoming Griselle to our team, and look forward to her unique contributions.

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10/2009

UWSC Staff to share expertise on behavior coding at the Workshop on Question Evaluation Methods

Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, will present at the upcoming Workshop in Question Evaluation Methods to be held October 21-23 and sponsored by the National Center for Health Statistics and the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Schaeffer will be part of a panel assembled to discuss Behavior Coding. UWSC Survey Methodologist Jen Dykema will be chairing the session. Conference presenters will engage in an interdisciplinary and cross-method examination of methods used to develop questions.

For more information on the Workhop click here

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10/2009

UWSC to conduct research on enhancing participation in Biomarker Research in underrepresented populations

UWSC Survey Methodologist, Jen Dykema, and Project Director, Ken Croes, are partnering with Dorothy Edwards, Professor in Kinesiology and Occupational Therapy, and others on "Enhancing Participation of Underrepresented Groups in Biomarker Studies." This project is part of a core grant to the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR).

The project entails partnering with representatives of Wisconsin tribal and ethnic/racial minority groups in a study designed to identify and enhance participation in biomarker research. Biomarker research relies on the collection of bodily fluids such as blood or cerebrospinal fluid, tissue, functional or structural imaging. It is particularly important to engage tribal, immigrant and minority populations in these studies since these groups bear a disproportionate burden of chronic disease and disability. The failure to engage such groups in biomarker research actually serves to increase health disparity 'gaps' by failing to identify the causes of risk differences and mediating/moderating effects of environmental, socioeconomic and behavioral variables on health outcomes. Researchers will use a community based participatory research (CBPR) approach to identify and address the barriers to biomarker study participation. Using a mixed methods approach based on a health services utilization framework, community-academic research teams will examine barriers and facilitators to participation in biomarker research projects for Alzheimer's, pulmonary and cardiovascular disease and cancer. This framework, based on the Theory of Planned Behavior/Reasoned Action (TPB) and Andersen's health behavior mode (HBM), has been used to examine willingness to participate in cancer clinical trials. It focuses on the cognitive factors that effect behavioral intentions (the decision to participate).

The findings of these teams will serve to inform the development of culturally tailored educational materials that will be piloted to examine whether/how intent to participate in biomarker research can be measured. Our activities in whole are designed to bring visibility to and increase participation of minority and medically underserved individuals in biomarker studies.

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09/2009

Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, to teach "Measurement and Questionnaires for Survey Research (Sociology 752)" Fall Semester 2010

Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, is offering "Measurement and Questionnaire for Survey Reseach" this semester (Fall 2010) on Wednesdays from 7:45-10:45AM. This course provides an introduction to the conceptual issues raised by conducting measurement using self-reports in surveys, an overview of the literature that addresses theoretical and practical problems in questionnaire design, and practice in developing, reviewing, and writing standardized questions and questionnaires. Particular attention is paid to recent work that draws on cognitive psychology to inform designing standardized instruments. The course is structured around the stages of instrument development: developmental interviewing, question writing, question testing, pretesting, and questionnaire formatting. Issues involved in telephone interviews and computer-assisted interviews will be considered at several points, but the assignments use face-to-face interviews with paper instruments. The material covered in this course is relevant for standardized measurement in many social research contexts in addition to surveys, such as laboratory experiments.

To visit Dr. Schaeffer's Home Page click here

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08/2009

UWSC staff participate in UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health 50th Anniversary Symposium

Kelly Elver, UWSC's Project Director in charge of the National Children's Study Waukesha Vanguard Call Center, recently participated in a panel discussion about the NCS Waukesha study, along with Waukesha PI's Dr. Maureen Durkin, Dr. Steven Leuthner, and NCS staff members Marie-Noel Sandoval, Katie Miller, and Liz Gall. Panelists shared their experiences in the local implementation of a national protocol, on the largest study of the effects of environment on the health of children ever undertaken. Kelly was pleased to be able to discuss the challenges and successes involved in helping to field such a large federal study with other researchers from the UW.

For a link to the program click here

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08/2009

UW Badger Poll data featured in award-winning paper by LSC graduate students and professors

LSC doctoral student Kajsa Dalrymple and professors Dominique Brossard, Dietram Schefeule and Al Gunther, along with graduate student Amy Brecker, win a Top 3 Faculty Paper Award by the Science Communication Interest Group of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication for the paper "Getting citizens involved: How controversial science policy debates stimulates issue participation during a political campaign." The paper uses data from the UW Badger Poll, a statewide telephone survey. The award was delivered during the August, 2009 meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Convention in Boston.

To learn more about the UW Badger Poll Click here

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05/2009

UWSC staff participate in the annual IFD&TC (International Field Directors and Technologies Conference)

UWSC staff continued to provide a strong presence at the annual International Field Directors & Technologies Conference (IFD&TC) held in Delray Beach, Florida in May. A large group of UWSC actively participated and presented at the annual meeting (staff names appear in bold):

  • Heidi Guyer, Nancy Gebler, Kerryann DiLoreto, Katie Lundeen, Frank Mierzwa, and Casey Tischner, "Spitting In Public: Collecting Biomarkers and Physical Measures"
  • Lisa Klein, Data Quality Issues in Mixed-Mode Self-Administered Surveys"
  • Lisa Klein and Christopher Huard, "Human-Based Versus Optical Scanning Methods of Data Entry"
  • Wes Taylor, "Finding Waldo: Tracing Module Design and Use for Systematic Tracking Data Collection and Tracing Effort Evaluation"
  • Eric White, "Remote Instrument Testing Using MS Server 2008 and Terminal Services (or Competing With the Cloud)"
  • Eric White, "Ultra-Mobile PCs: Where Do They Fit in?"

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05/2009

UWSC staff participate in the 64th annual AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference

A large group of UWSC staff presented at the annual meeting of the 2009 conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) in Hollywood, Florida, on May 14-17. As in previous years, UWSC staff demonstrated their contributions to survey research methodology by delivering short courses and presenting papers and methodological briefs (staff names appear in bold):

  • UWSC Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, offered the short course "Introduction to Questionnaire Design"
  • Kerryann DiLoreto, Kenneth D. Croes, and Jennifer Dykema, "Factors Predicting Participation in the Collection of Biological Measures in a Survey of Older Adults"
  • Jennifer Dykema, Nora Cate Schaeffer, and Dana Garbarski, "The Effects of Different Question Structures on Interactional Indicators of Respondent and Interviewer Processing of Physical and Mental Health Questions"
  • Kelly Elver, Jennifer Dykema, and John Stevenson, "Effects of Alternative Forms of Addressing Households on Response Rates and Costs in a Mail Survey."
  • Dana Garbarski, Nora Cate Schaeffer, and Jennifer Dykema, "Using Verbal and Paralinguistic Behaviors to Explain Variation in Self-Reported Health Items"
  • John Stevenson, Jennifer Dykema, Brendan Day, Vence Bonham, and Sherrill Sellers, "The Use of Advance Contact, Monetary Incentives, and Lotteries to Increase Response Rates in a Web Survey of Physicians."
To visit the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) click here

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04/2009

UWSC Associate Director, John Stevenson, is awarded the prestigious Mid-Career Award

Gary Sandefur, dean of the College of Letters and Science, announced the winners of the 2008-09 College of Letters and Science Academic Staff Excellence Awards. John Stevenson, associate director, UW Survey Center received the Mid-Career award. These awards are given to recognize the contributions of L&S academic staff to the college. Recipients were honored at special ceremony.

John has served the University of Wisconsin and the UW Survey Center for 15 years -- first as a project director, and, for the past 10 years, as the Associate Director of the Survey Center. During this time, he has taken an active role in improving the overall value the UW Survey Center brings to the University of Wisconsin and the survey research community more generally. In particular he has been instrumental in:

  • Making the UW Survey Center a national leader in the field of data collection.
  • Increasing the awareness of the Survey Center and its vast capabilities among researchers whose work could benefit from UWSC's knowledge and expertise.
  • Increasing not only the amount of work done to serve the university community, but also increasing the range and complexity of work offered to better serve researchers, collaborators, and colleagues.
  • Developing the UW Survey Center beyond just data collection into a research center that conducts internal methodological research and is known for its innovation.
  • Increasing the professionalization of UWSC staff by supporting professional development and improving internal procedures and continuous training and renewal of skills.
  • Coordinating the variety of social science research services at UW-Madison to better serve the faculty and staff.
  • Sharing the expertise and experience UWSC has throughout the college to faculty, staff, and students.
  • Using UWSC's experience and knowledge to increase learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Making time to serve the university community through service on key University committees, particularly the Institutional Review Board (IRB) in Letters & Science.
  • Increasing UWSC's level of expertise, reputation, and service to the profession by active membership and leadership in the Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations (ASRO), the International Field Directors and Technology Conference (IFD&TC), and the American Association for Public Opinion Quarterly (AAPOR).

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01/2009

Vicki Lein joins the UWSC as a senior Project Director

Vicki Lein has joined UWSC as a senior Project Director. She brings decades of experience in conducting research in the social sciences.

Prior to joining UWSC, Vicki worked as a Research Scientist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, where she conducted research on business decision making, market-based incentives programs, and innovation. In addition to her experience with survey methods such as mail surveys, she has conducted focus groups and in-depth personal interviews.

We are excited to have Vicki as a member of our team and look forward to her contributions.

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10/2017 Unpacking What Participants Think About When They Rate Their Health
9/2017 UWSC contributes to research on the effects on families of unsuccessful organ donation attempts at the time of death
8/2017 UWSC welcomes Ciara Bridges as a project director
8/2017 UWSC welcomes Carol Wintheiser as a project director
8/2017 MIDUS: A UWSC Flagship Study showcased by Center for Healthy Minds (CHM)
8/2017 UWSC Hosts Visitors from the National Analytical Center (or Nazarbayev University) in Kazakhstan
8/2017 Who's Calling? Predicting Survey Participation from the Opening of the Call
5/2017 UWSC featured in Wisconsin State Journal’s "Fueling Discovery"
5/2017 UWSC Study Results Cited by New York Times
5/2017 UWSC helped collect survey data for Goldstein's Janesville: An American Story
5/2017 UWSC’s Assistance with Conducting the First Ever UW-Madison Student Climate Survey Highlighted in Inside UW-Madison News
4/2017 UWSC survey work at the heart of Pulitzer Prize-winning book Evicted
3/2017 UWSC Staff to participate in the 51st annual International Field Directors and Technologies Conference (IFD&TC).
3/2017 UWSC researchers examine factors associated with providing biomarkers by mail among graduates in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study
1/2017 UWSC staff to participate in the 72nd annual AAPOR
1/2017 UWSC’s involvement in Midlife in the US (MIDUS) Study highlighted in Inside UW-Madison News
11/2016 UWSC staff participate in the 41st annual conference of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR)
10/2016 Big Read author and UWSC client Matthew Desmond talks about Evicted
9/2016 UWSC’s John Stevenson and Kerryann DiLoreto interviewed by Andrew Flowers, of Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.com
9/2016 Art Exhibition by LaRae Fjellman
8/2016 Milwaukee Area Renters Study, conducted by UWSC, featured in Matthew Desmond’s Evicted, the Big Read for 2016-2017
7/2016 UWSC and UW Faculty Partner in UW2020 Pilot Study: Wisconsin Study of Family Complexity and Public Policy
6/2016 UWSC Studies cited as landmarks in PAA Presidential Address
5/2016 UWSC is proud to administer the Longitudinal Study of Generations
5/2016 Art Exhibition by Zafer Gurel 
5/2016 2016 Federal CASIC workshops
4/2016 UWSC attends the North American Data Documentation Initiative (NADDI) conference
3/2016 UWSC receives high praise for its work on the Milwaukee Area Renters Study
3/2016 UWSC Staff to participate in the 50th annual International Field Directors and Technologies Conference (IFD&TC)
1/2016 UWSC staff to participate in the 71st annual AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference
1/2016 UWSC researchers present AAPOR webinar on Questionnaire Design
12/2015 UWSC researchers explore the effects of second prepaid incentives and envelop messaging on response rates in an addressed-based mail survey about health
11/2015 Dr. Nora Cate Schaeffer named 2015 MAPOR Fellow
10/2015 UWSC researchers provide advice about questionnaire design in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences
10/2015 Results of successful web surveys conducted by UWSC for the UW-Madison College of Letters and Science released.
9/2015 UWSC's Milwaukee Area Renters Study (MARS) spotlighted by MacArthur Foundation announcement of the Class of 2015 MacArthur Fellows
8/2015 UWSC has become a Charter Member of the Transparency Initiative of the American Association for Public Opinion Research
8/2015 Senior project directors interviewed by MJS for health article about stool sample collection
7/2015 UWSC is pleased to offer an exhibit of photography by local Madison artist, Michelle Klock
6/2015 The UWSC joins ICTR as a Community-Academic Partnership Program
5/2015 We Collected What??? Designing In-Home Collection of Stool and Water Samples for the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study
4/2015 UWSC Survey Methodologist Jennifer Dykema elected to serve as Associate Conference Chair of AAPOR
3/2015 UWSC Staff to participate in the 49th annual IFD&TC (International Field Directors and Technologies Conference)
3/2015 Project Management Director Kelly Elver and Survey Methodologist Jennifer Dykema participate in an Open House at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services
3/2015 Faculty Director Nora Cate Schaeffer and Survey Methodologist Jennifer Dykema participate in the 2015 AASRO meeting
2/2015 How does response option order and question order affect self-rated health?
1/2015 UWSC welcomes Linda Gomez as a CATI Survey Research Supervisor
1/2015 UWSC welcomes public art exhibit featuring the work of Karen Watson-Newlin and Don Gruenweller
1/2015 UWSC staff to participate in the 70th annual AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference
12/2014 Faculty Director Nora Cate Schaeffer to serve on National Academies' Standing Committee
12/2014 UWSC Welcomes Jacek Kraszewski as a project director
12/2014 Wave 1 of the CalYOUTH Study Final Youth Report Released
11/2014 UWSC welcomes Nadia Assad as a project director
11/2014 UWSC Welcomes Rob Schultz as a programmer
10/2014 UWSC welcomes Dr. Margarete Wichmann as a project director
8/2014 UWSC welcomes Marie Nitschke as a database administrator and web programmer
8/2014 UWSC staff participate in the 39th annual conference of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR)
5/2014 UWSC welcomes public art exhibit featuring the work of Karen Watson-Newlin
5/2014 National Academies Press releases report, Estimating the Incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault
1/2014 UWSC welcomes public art exhibit featuring the work of Rob Bach
1/2014 UWSC staff to participate in the 69th annual AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference on "Measurement and the Role of Public Opinion in a Democracy"
11/2013 UWSC staff participate in the 38th annual conference of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR)
11/2013 "Questions for Surveys: Current Trends and Future Directions" by UWSC Faculty Director Nora Cate Schaeffer and Survey Methodologist Jennifer Dykema in the 75th Anniversary Issue of Public Opinion Quarterly is among the most read articles in Public Opinion Quarterly.
11/2013 UWSC achieves 95% response rate for CalYOUTH Study
10/2013 UWSC welcomes second public art exhibit
10/2013 National Academies Press releases report, Nonresponse in Social Science Surveys: A Research Agenda
09/2013 Article on "Surveying Clinicians by Web: Current Issues in Design and Administration" by UWSC staff featured in special issue of Evaluation & the Health Professions
08/2013 UWSC to assist the Dictionary of American Regional English in its next round of data collection
06/2013 UWSC Project Director Nathan Jones travels to Africa to work on an early childhood assessment project in refugee camps
06/2013 Ken Croes serves as panelist at UW-Madison Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) event
05/2013 UWSC staff participate in the 2013 Interviewer-Respondent Interaction Workshop
04/2013 In celebration of our 25th anniversary, UWSC invited UW-Madison Faculty and Staff to tour our new facility
04/2013 UWSC staff to participate in the 68th annual AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference on "Asking Critical Questions: Toward a Sustainable Future for Public Opinion and Social Research"
04/2013 UWSC staff to participate in the annual IFD&TC (International Field Directors and Technologies Conference)
04/2013 Issue of Public Opinion Quarterly edited by UWSC researchers
02/2013 Panel for the Future of Social Science Data Collection releases its report
01/2013 UWSC welcomes first public art exhibit
10/2012 UWSC staff to participate in 2012 Health Disparities Summit
10/2012 UWSC Researchers are invited participants at National Science Foundation's (NSF) Workshop on the Future of Survey Research
10/2012 UWSC Researchers awarded grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF)
09/2012 UWSC Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, to participate in DC-AAPOR's sixth annual Public Opinion Quarterly (POQ) Special Issue Conference on September 27, 2012
09/2012 UWSC is pleased to announce that Dan Lawrence is now a full-time programmer
09/2012 The Mid-Life in the US Study (MIDUS) expands nationally, with special focus on Milwaukee
08/2012 UWSC Featured in University of Wisconsin-Madison Sociology Department's Alumni Newsletter
05/2012 UWSC's Associate Director, John Stevenson featured in the 2012 MAPOR Newsletter
05/2012 Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, to deliver keynote address at the 2012 International Field Directors and Technologies Conference
05/2012 UWSC research assistant, Kristen Cyffka, awarded a 2012 AAPOR Student Travel Scholarship
05/2012 UWSC staff to participate in the annual IFD&TC (International Field Directors and Technologies Conference)
04/2012 UWSC staff to participate in the 67th annual AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference
04/2012 UWSC Survey Methodologist, Jennifer Dykema, elected to AAPOR Executive Council
03/2012 UWSC staff participate in the annual conference of the Population Association of American (PAA)
03/2012 UWSC Welcomes Dr. Nathan Jones as a senior project director
02/2012 UWSC researchers among 9 winners in RTI's 2012 Research Challenge
01/2012 New York Times article about cognitive research in MIDUS makes "Most e-mailed list"
01/2012 Matt Salganik (Princeton) Discusses WikiSurveys
12/2011 75th Anniversary Issue of Public Opinion Quarterly features "Questions for Surveys: Current Trends and Future Directions" by Nora Cate Schaeffer and Jennifer Dykema
11/2011 UWSC staff participate in the annual MAPOR (Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference
11/2011 UWSC will soon start interviewing for Midlife in the United States (MIDUS), A National Study on Health and Well-Being featured in UW-Madison Campus News
10/2011 UWSC Welcomes two new project directors to their project directing team!
10/2011 UWSC and CDE to co-sponsor talk by Dr. Tim Beebe on "Issues and Advances in Health Survey Research Methods."
09/2011 UWSC is excited to announce the arrival of new Database Administrator, Chris Schlapper
09/2011 Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, to teach "Survey Methods for Social Research (Sociology 751)" Fall Semester 2011
08/2011 The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) reaches a milestone
06/2011 The Wisconsin Financial Aid Study (WiscAid) featured in the Wisconsin State Journal
06/2011 The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) featured in TIME Magazine
05/2011 UWSC staff to participate in the annual IFD&TC (International Field Directors and Technologies Conference)
05/2011 UWSC staff to participate in the 66th annual AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference
03/2011 UWSC will be presenting a poster on "Successful Surveys ... It's All in the Details (Improving Program Evaluation and Academic Research)" at the 12th Annual UW Showcase the morning of Wednesday, March 23
03/2011 Faculty director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, and survey methodologist, Jen Dykema to serve as guest editors for POQ on a special issue devoted to "Measurement"
02/2011 UWSC is excited to announce the arrival of a new Project Director, Tara Piché
01/2011 Findings from UWSC survey continue to indicate that "Madisonians still like it here"
12/2010 Expansion of Milwaukee Area Renters Study funded by MacArthur Foundation
12/2010 The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) is a "Survey that maps the life of a generation" according to a featured article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
12/2010 Faculty director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, selected to participate in the Consumer Expenditure Methods Workshop
11/2010 Faculty director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, selected as a member of the Panel on the Future of Social Science Data Collection of the National Research Council's Committee on national Statistics
11/2010 UWSC staff participate in the annual MAPOR (Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference
09/2010 Kelly Elver and Lisa Klein selected to International Field Directors and Technologies (IFD&TC) Organizing Committee
09/2010 UWSC is excited to announce that interviewers for the WLS have successfully interviewed 3,000 participants
09/2010 Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, to teach "Measurement and Questionnaires for Survey Research (Sociology 752)" Fall Semester 2010
08/2010 UWSC Badger Poll findings on hunting highlighted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
08/2010 UWSC welcomes Karen Jaques to the Project Director staff
05/2010 UWSC Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA)
05/2010 Handbook on Survey Research features UWSC Authors
04/2010 UWSC staff to participate in the 65th annual AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference
04/2010 UWSC staff to participate in the annual IFD&TC (International Field Directors and Technologies Conference)
03/2010 The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study begins a new round of interviews in March 2010
03/2010 UWSC Badger Poll Faculty Director Katherine Cramer Walsh among featured panelists
01/2010 Findings from UWSC study indicate "Madisonians like where they live"
01/2010 UW Badger Poll used by Wisconsin Emergency Management to assess Wisconsinites' Preparedness for Disasters
01/2010 UWSC collecting survey data on the causes and consequences of eviction
11/2009 UW Survey Center welcomes new Project Director!
10/2009 UWSC staff to share expertise on behavior coding at the Workshop on Question Evaluation Methods
10/2009 UWSC to conduct research on enhancing participation in Biomarker Research in underrepresented populations
09/2009 Faculty Director, Nora Cate Schaeffer, to teach "Survey Methods for Social Research" Fall Semester 2009
08/2009 UWSC staff participate in UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health 50th Anniversary Symposium
08/2009 UW Badger Poll data featured in award-winning paper by LSC graduate students and professors
05/2009 UWSC staff participate in the annual IFD&TC (International Field Directors and Technologies Conference)
05/2009 UWSC staff participate in the 64th annual AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) Conference
04/2009 UWSC Associate Director, John Stevenson, is awarded the prestigious Mid-Career Award
01/2009 Vicki Lein joins the UWSC as a senior Project Director