Measuring magazine reading via the internet: testing the effect of number of titles and other questionnaire desgn issues

Modes of collecting readership data have evolved considerably since Politz’s face-to-face TTB studies half a century ago. While magazine readership studies are still conducted in person with pencil and paper in some parts of the world, many readership studies are self-administered on paper through the mail, and others have taken advantage of new technology and have migrated to CAPI or to self-administration on a diskette. MRI’s experiments with audio-CASI in the United States are familiar to those who have attended prior readership symposia as well (Baim, Arpin, and Appel, 1995; Baim, Frankel, and Arpin, 1997).
The advent of the Internet raises fresh opportunities for conducting readership research. As with mail surveys, surveys on the Internet have some of the advantages of self-administration, permitting respondents to answer at their own pace, perhaps with greater thoughtfulness and accuracy, and eliminating errors due to variance among interviewers. Data collected via the Web have some of the advantages of CAPI in that respondents and interviewers do not have to be relied upon to follow skip instructions. And Web surveys have one unique advantage over most other methods that have made them very attractive in the U.S: they can be done much more quickly than mail or face-to-face studies.

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