The first part of this chapter is dedicated to the discussion of some choices over which the researcher has little control but which can have considerable influence over the survey results. The first choice to be discussed is the mode of data collection. In principle, the researcher is free to choose any mode; however, in reality, the options are restricted by the budget that is available for the study. Anyway, the mode of data collection affects the quality of the survey and also its costs. We will spend considerable attention to the mode of data collection since it is a very important decision and because its possibilities increase rapidly.
The second choice we will discuss concerns the position of the question in the questionnaire. Not all questions can be placed in the best place of the questionnaire. Therefore, a policy should be developed that deals with how to place the questions in the questionnaire.
A third issue to discuss is the layout of the questionnaires. Unfortunately, there is still very little known about the effects of layout; however, we will give references where relevant information about this issue can be found.
Finally, there is the choice of the language for the questionnaire. This is, of course, not a real choice. Nevertheless, a limited choice exists with respect to the language related to minority groups in a country. For example, should the Moroccan people in France be interviewed in French or in Moroccan Arabic? ...