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I’m a bit confused why you would send a roster with only 100 names?  

I would re-consider whether 300 names is too many.  In school based studies it is not unusual to distribute a roster with 500 or more names.  So I think you can consider several options:

1) Collect the data using the nomination questions you’ve specified and distribute a roster with all 300 people.  Putting a number next to each name enables the participate to simply write the number in the blank lines.  You can then ask them to name quite a few people because it doesn’t take long to write the number, though it may take a while to search the roster.  (Incidentally in our current school study we were able to get pictures with the names and numbers, which you can also consider.)  In the instructions you can indicate to respondents to write out the names of anyone not on the list.

2) You could do this online, pre-entering the names so respondents need only type the first few letters of each name and they will automatically inserted.  This will be quick and easy.  If people add names not on the list these names can be updated in the software.

3) There are advantages and disadvantages to both the roster and nominations methods but I agree that collecting network data with roster as the entry method with over 300 names is prohibitive.

4) You might want to contact Bill Hansen and learn about Network Genie; and of course Devon Brewer and Chris McCarty are quite knowledgeable about data collection methods.



From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ken Vance-Borland
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 11:23 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Advice on network survey questionnaire design


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I’m working on a project in which we’re preparing to survey employees of federal natural resource agencies in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho about science-management communication and collaboration at the interface of forest fire effects on fish and other aquatic organisms. My colleagues and I hope to get your advice on three questions about our proposed on-line survey set up. If you’re unable to provide feedback on our proposed approach, it would be great if you could suggest others we might ask.
We’re planning on using a hybrid recall/recognition questionnaire. We’re thinking of asking a relationship question (e.g., ‘with whom have you collaborated on fish and fire work?’) and provide a list of blank lines for their answers. Then repeat for other relationship questions. Then present a roster of names with a checkbox for each relationship, as well as another set of blank lines to add any additional names they’ve been prompted to think of that are not on the roster or the first set of blank lines. Our first question: is this ‘blank lines-roster-blank lines’ likely to increase naming?

We anticipate 300 or more people being on our initial list of those involved in fish and fire work, which we feel are too many names for either an online questionnaire or a roster for respondents to peruse. Our second question: is there an established way of truncating a long list of names?
We’re thinking of making 3 copies/versions of our questionnaire and putting 100 different names on each one, to not only allow respondents to indicate which people they relate to but also to prompt them to think of more people to add to the blank lines. We would randomly assign versions to respondents. Our third question: does this seem like a reasonable approach for dealing with the too-many-names problem?

Many thanks!


Ken Vance-Borland, Executive Director
The Conservation Planning Institute
"To protect and restore biological diversity through innovative conservation planning
that is focused on effective implementation"
Tel:(541)231-7949 Email: [log in to unmask] Skype: ken.vance.borland
CPI is an IUCN member organization http://www.iucn.org/


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