With the sad proliferation of silly surveys, non-scientific interest polls, and downright fraudulent polls, the research industry is stepping up with a number of key initiatives to combat the trend. Versta Research is part of that effort, and in August announced that we are part of the Transparency Initiative being developed by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).
As of this writing, Versta is one of 67 prominent survey and polling organizations currently supporting the initiative. The initiative is designed to create protocols and recognition for regular disclosure of methods when survey organizations conduct public polls.
Trust in survey research and public polls is critical not only for the public good, but for the important work that we do for our clients. Our clients rely on us to give them accurate data and truthful assessments. They can’t make good decisions without that. And they rely on us to ensure that when they share data with the public, it is backed by the most rigorous and defensible methods available in the social sciences. Transparency is one means of ensuring that all organizations are continually held to the highest standards of rigor and accuracy.
AAPOR began the initiative in 2009 “to encourage routine disclosure of methodological information from polls and surveys whose findings are released to the public.” The organization lists the following as key elements of the efforts now underway:
- The association’s public recognition of excellence in transparency;
- A system for collecting and archiving disclosure information;
- Education for organizations in how to make transparency a routine part of their work;
- Outreach to survey sponsors, users of survey data and the public to reinforce the value of transparency and to publicize the organizations that participate in the initiative;
- Collaboration with other associations and academic disciplines in these activities.
One benefit of working with an organization like Versta Research is that you can fully trust the outcomes of the research, and you can trust that we have the expertise to defend it. You can also trust that we work diligently within the industry to protect the value of our collective investments in good research.
—Joe Hopper, Ph.D.