Email Survey

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There are researchers who try to send a survey to too many email users with the hope to get as much information as possible while selecting interviewees purposively is still an appropriate technique in qualitative research because, according to this article, these key interviewees can offer researchers striking insights of the issues under investigation. Sending an email survey to a non-specified population is considered as sending SPAM mail, which is annoying and irritating.


In fact, a recent survey done in London has found that more than 75% email sent to pupils is SPAM mail weekly, half of which advertises drugs and Viagra which is also a disturbing experience with the author’s Yahoo mail! Besides, many uninterested people become victims of unknown email messages containing viruses, which endanger and damage programs in their computers and the local networks. In other words, email users are harmed in this indirect manner, and trust between Internet users and other researchers may decline or may even be destroyed. As a result, some people who were once such a victim may no longer be voluntary or willing to join any more research projects done via electronic devices.



It is, therefore, suggested that researchers be ethically required to guard the safety of their computer programs before sending out an email version to others, and to respect participants’ privacy on the Net by always asking for permission before sending a survey. They have to assure participants that they will do so by contacting respondents via a covering letter or a phone call requiring the informants’ consent, which takes a central place in terms of ethics in educational research. What is more. Cook and colleagues find that follow-up contacts with non-respondents, personalized contacts, and contacting sampled people are the three factors positively influencing response rates. Finally, researchers are expected to know that violating national laws on SPAM email results in great costs which may culminate in a severe fine of 1.1 million Australian dollars in Australia.

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