Collecting data can be the most stressful and time consuming component of a dissertation. You may have identified your population of interest and have planned to manually recruit participants through use of flyers or word-of-mouth. This is typically the ideal method to follow because it provides you with more ownership of the data collection. However, recruitment can frequently be a headache and prospective participants simply may not want to cooperate. This is when researchers should consider hiring a third-party such as Survey Monkey or Qualtrics to help complete the data collection component.
Survey Monkey offers an Audience collector tool in which researchers can pay for survey responses based on pre-determined inclusion criteria. The service provides general criteria items such as location, gender, age, household income, education, race, etc. But the service also provides specific criteria items such as employment, industry, hobbies, political ideology, health issues, or technology used. If the specific targeting option is not provided by default on Survey Monkey, researchers have the option to add a custom screening question in order to reach the ideal population. These services can be costly for the average student but using them can dramatically expedite the data collection process.
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