checklist for quality of opinion polls

1. Is it clear who ordered and financed the poll?
2. Is there a report documenting the poll’s procedures?
3. Is the target population clearly described?
4. is the questionnaire available and has it been tested?
5. what were the sampling procedures?
* the sample should be drawn for the target population. If it only contains for example people with Internet access, be careful
6. What is the number of respondents?
7. Is the response percentage sufficient?
* it is difficult to say what percentage is sufficient. Higher response percentages do not automatically lead to better data quality. 10 or 20 % is however too low.
8. Have the data been weighted?
9. Are the margins of error being reported?

For more info, check the website of Jelke Bethlehem (in Dutch), or download the checklist here , with an explanation (in Dutch)

Peter Lugtig
Associate Professor of Survey Methodology

I am an associate professor at Utrecht University, department of Methodology and Statistics.