OSR operates a centralized telephone interviewing facility located on the MSU campus in Berkey Hall. The interviewing facility has 48 dedicated workstations for interviewers, supervisors and managers.
Workstations, connected to OSR’s firewalled and password protected network servers, run a state-of-the-art Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing system (CATI). Network servers are protected by firewalls and passwords from unauthorized access. Software and study files are backed up daily and data gathered during each interview are backed up after every five key strokes.
The CATI system allows output of data and interviewer notes in ways that readily provide clients with data in the file format of their choice, including SPSS, SAS, STATA, Excel, or plaintext as well as codebooks with item frequencies.
- Staffing and Training:
OSR maintains a staff of roughly 100 part-time interviewers, data entry personnel and supervisors. All interviewers complete an extensive training program on proper standardized interviewing techniques. They are regularly monitored for quality control purposes, and must complete and regularly renew standard training modules on the rights and ethical treatment of human subjects in research, protection of confidentiality and gaining informed consent. They are MSU IRB certified. Internship opportunities are available.
To discuss a telephone survey project, contact Dr. Larry Hembroff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 353-1763.
- Questionnaire Design and Follow-up Procedures
OSR typically makes several attempts to contact and elicit cooperation from sampled respondents, including by U.S. Mail. OSR can distribute incentives either in advance or as rewards for response to improve cooperation.
OSR utilizes highly advanced web survey software systems (Qualtrics, Vovici, and CASES web) to maximize flexibility, security, and sample management options. Our web surveys allow for a wide variety of question types and complex skip patterns, and can be completed on computers or mobile devices (such as smartphones).
Data can be output in a variety of formats, including SPSS, SAS, ASCII, Excel, and plaintext.
- Web Panels
Through Qualtrics, we are able to offer survey access to on-line panels of respondents that match a wide variety of target group profiles, for example, from voters to the general population to people who own dogs to individuals who work in the hospitality industry.
To discuss a web survey project, contact Karen Clark at email@example.com or (517) 353-1764.
- Data Entry/Keypunching:
OSR has completed data entry on tens of thousands of questionnaires either as a part of mail surveys we have conducted or as part of questionnaires or forms researchers have collected independently. OSR creates custom data entry applications for response coding. All data are error-checked by double entry. The cleaned, verified data sets can be output into ASCII, SPSS, SAS, STATA, Excel, plaintext, or other formats. OSR can also provide a file containing all of the text responses to open-ended questions or “Other” responses. For more information, contact Debra Rusz at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 353-1766.
OSR staff is available to consult on the most practical mode of data collection for a particular project, the availability of suitable sampling frames, sampling design options, questionnaire wording, question sequencing, pretesting, strategies for contacting respondents, use of incentives, techniques for maximizing response, timeline development, and data analysis.
An initial consultation of up to one hour is provided at no charge. For more information, contact Dr. Larry Hembroff at email@example.com or (517) 353-1763.
- IRB Assistance:
OSR staff can provide researchers with advice and assistance in preparing materials for Institutional Review Board review and can help address questions or concerns raised by IRB reviewers. For more information, contact Jill Hardy at Jill.Hardy@ssc.msu.edu or (517) 353-1765.
- Focus Groups:
OSR designs, conducts, and generates reports on focus groups. It recruits and schedules participants, and develops moderator’s scripts and probes. OSR creates audio or video recordings of focus groups for later analysis. Help is available for any or all phases of a focus group project. For more information, contact Jill Hardy at Jill.Hardy@ssc.msu.edu or (517) 353-1765.
- Cognitive Interview Testing:
Cognitive interviewing is a set of methods for discovering how individuals hear and understand questions, and for determining how individuals think about and formulate answers to those questions. This approach is especially useful when new questions are being developed for use in a major survey to ensure that respondents actually answer the question the researcher intended them to hear and answer. For more information, contact Dr. Larry Hembroff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 353-1763, or Debra Rusz at email@example.com or (517) 353-1766.
- Questionnaire & Instrument Design:
Using research-based best practice guidelines, OSR assists in design and formatting of mail questionnaires, web surveys, telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews, focus group scripts, advance letters, cover letters, follow-up letters, and reminders for effective contact with prospective respondents. For more information, contact Dr. Larry Hembroff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 353-1763.
OSR staff members have extensive experience designing and selecting samples from discrete lists of targeted populations; designing random digit dial samples of city, county, statewide and national populations; designing samples of rare populations; and designing simple or disproportionate stratified samples. OSR helps individual researchers develop appropriate sampling designs and sample sizes to meet the specific research goals of the researcher’s project, whether the goal is reaching households or businesses. For more information, contact Dr. Larry Hembroff at email@example.com or (517) 353-1763.
OSR has trained thousands of individuals to be effective telephone interviewers. OSR also conducts training on survey and data management skills, data analysis, and data weighting. For more information, contact Linda Stork at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 432-0847.
- Cost Estimation for Grants/Proposals:
OSR staff members have prepared cost estimates for hundreds of survey, assessment, evaluation, and focus group projects. That includes estimates for work to be included in grant proposals before submission to agencies and foundations. Informed by past experiences, OSR assesses the unique features of each project into account to estimate the costs for staff time, labor, supplies and materials, fees, and other expenses that will enable the project to be completed successfully and within budget. For more information, contact Dr. Larry Hembroff at email@example.com or (517) 353-1763.
- Weighting Data:
Calculating and applying caseweights is necessary for surveys that involve stratified random samples. It is desirable to correct for differential response rates and improve the representativeness for all surveys. In addition to constructing weights for data OSR collects, OSR’s staff can also calculate weights for existing datasets. Dr. Hembroff conducts workshops for MSU’s Center for Statistical Training and Consulting (CSTAT) on weighting of complex survey data. OSR’s expertise extends to raking and other advanced methods. For more information, contact Dr. Larry Hembroff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 353-1763.
- Analysis and Report Writing:
Clients often request that OSR assist with the analysis of the data and preparation of tables and graphs that report survey results. The analysis may be as simple as frequencies and crosstabs or involve more complex multivariate analysis. For more information, contact Dr. Larry Hembroff at email@example.com or 517-353-1763.
OSR staff members are frequently asked by clients to give presentations summarizing survey results. OSR staff is also available to conduct workshops, guest lectures, webinars, or presentations on survey methods, sampling challenges and solutions, survey error, or the findings of OSR methodological experiments or analyses. If you are interested in more information about these services, contact Dr. Larry Hembroff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 353-1763.
OSR offers a collaborative, personalized relationship to assist each researcher or organization meet unique goals and needs. A project manager is assigned to work with each project throughout its development and completion.
OSR’s primary function is data collection. We have conducted hundreds of thousands of telephone interviews and collected about 100,000 each of mail questionnaires and web survey responses.
OSR conducts telephone surveys nationally, statewide and within individual counties or communities. For telephone surveys with individuals, OSR samples are drawn from lists or random samples of landline and cell phone numbers. OSR has the capacity to conduct telephone interviews in Spanish, Arabic, and other languages. All interviewing is closely supervised and sampled calls are monitored by supervisory personnel or recorded for quality control. OSR’s general approach to telephone surveys is standardized, structured interviewing.
OSR can assist researchers in designing the layout and format of their questionnaires according to best practice guidelines, improving effectiveness of questionnaires, and managing the processing of mailings to large and small samples of intended respondents.
A typical mail survey involves an advance letter, mailing of the questionnaire with a cover letter and return envelope, a reminder or thank you postcard, and one or two additional mailings of the questionnaire to non-responders.
OSR’s data entry staff code and enter questionnaire responses into a software system. All entered data are error-checked by double entry – the gold standard for error checking and data cleaning.
The cleaned, verified data set can be output into SPSS, SAS, STATA, Excel, or plaintext formats. OSR can also provide a file containing all of the text responses to open-ended questions or ”Other” responses.
To discuss a mail survey project, contact Dr. Larry Hembroff at email@example.com or (517) 353-1763.
OOSR has been conducting web surveys for more than a decade. We have conducted web surveys on campus and off, nationally and internationally. We have administered web surveys in more than a dozen languages.
OSR has established procedures to ensure confidential responses solely from sampled respondents without duplication.
OSR provides the option to make combinations of mail, web, and phone data collection modes available to respondents in order to maximize response opportunities.
Typical Data Products
At the conclusion of data collection or entry, OSR provides researchers with a data file (including caseweights, if applicable) in SPSS, STATA, SAS, Excel, or plaintext formats, depending on the researcher’s preference.
Typically, OSR also provides a codebook for the data set which includes the question wording and response options for each question in the questionnaire and the frequency distributions of responses to the questions in the data set.
We also provide a copy of the programmed version of the interview or data entry instrument containing relevant skip instructions or logic checks.
Methodological summaries of the sampling, data collection, response rates, and data preparation procedures are also available.