SRMS Newsletter
Issue 6 *** July 1996


Record heat, thunderstorms and tornados.... it must be almost time for the Joint Statistical Meetings! If you haven't done so already, plan on joining us in Chicago, August 4-8, 1996. For a summary of SRMS' exciting program for this year's meetings, see page 2.

Planning for InterCASIC '96 is well underway! For information on the program for the latest SRMS-sponsored International Conference on Survey Methodology, see pages 3-5.

What Is a Survey? adds more brochures! For an update on the latest in our quantitative literacy series, see page 7.

SRMS in Cyberspace

It's official! The Survey Research Methods Section now has its own Web page! It contains a variety of information about the Section and survey research, in general. Find us on the World Wide Web and learn about the Section's mission, leadership roles, and recent activities. You can also discover the Section's relatively new electronic bulletin board -- SRMSNET -- and find useful information about publications and upcoming conferences of interest to survey researchers.

For those new to the field or anyone wishing to learn more about surveys, in general, there are several basic information items at the SRMS page, as well. For instance, you will find the text of several brochures in the popular What Is a Survey? series. You will also find statements on professional ethics and such important issues as surveys and privacy.

So go ahead --- have a look. You can access the SRMS page under "Sections" through the ASA homepage at: or get to the SRMS page directly at: http://www- .

As always, your comments on what you find there and suggestions for items to add are always welcome and, in fact, can be made directly at the page. Happy viewing!

A New Look

You may have noticed the new SRMS logo -- we hope you like it! Our old logo was a temporary measure, designed in-house to add a little spiff to the SRMS Newsletter. It was not, however, in electronic format. What with the SRMSNET and our new Web page, the Section needed a more modern look -- and something that was machine-readable. So, Publications Officer Bill Kalsbeek approached Joani Spadaro, who teaches Graphic Design at the North Carolina State University School of Design, and she presented the problem to her students. Congratulations go to John Gwynne, who produced the winning logo -- and many thanks to Spadaro and the rest of her students for their efforts on our behalf!

Chicago, Chicago....!

SRMS has a great program in store for you! With 35 sessions on the agenda -- over 150 papers! -- we certainly can't mention them all here -- see the Preliminary Program in the May issue of Amstat News for most of the details or check out for the program and abstracts. We wanted to point out a few special events:

In summary, the technical sessions will cover the full range of topics related to survey methods. For those interested in the technical side of sample design, there are, among others, sessions on sampling frames, determining sample size, permanent random number sampling, weighting, and small area estimation. For those focused on nonsampling errors, there are sessions on questionnaire design, nonresponse bias, sample attrition in longitudinal surveys, record check studies, and measurement error. Methods for analyzing survey data will be addressed in sessions on time series analysis, survey analysis in the presence of imputed data, analyzing categorical survey data, and the applicability of diagnostic tests methodology. Finally, sessions on generalized processing systems, metadata, imputation, and random digit dialing surveys provide further evidence of the wide variety of topics to be discussed. The Section is also co- sponsoring a host of sessions containing papers of interest to SRMS members -- check, in particular, the Social Statistics Section and the Government Statistics Section programs for these jointly-sponsored events.

Don't Forget SRMS' Short Course...!

Space is still available for the Section's new short course on List-Assisted Telephone Surveys: Design, Estimation, and Administration, to be taught by Robert Casady, James Lepkowski, and Clyde Tucker. The one-day course -- SRMS' first offering in a few years -- will be held Saturday, August 3, from 8:45 AM - 4:45 PM.

The course will examine sample design and estimation issues of an expanding class of surveys by telephone -- list-assisted telephone sample surveys. Basic features of list samples, random digit dialing methods, and list-assisted techniques will be presented. Several specific design options for list-assisted samples will be considered in detail, including two-stage sampling from directory listings, stratified sample selection from partitioned sets of telephone numbers, optimum allocation of sample across strata, and truncated sample designs. The course is aimed at survey researchers, survey practitioners, and graduate students with prior training or experience in the general area of sample surveys.

Note from the Section Chair -- by David Binder

First, I would like to thank Wendy Alvey and Bettye Jamerson for all the work they have done putting together this very informative newsletter. I hope you all enjoy reading it. I would very much appreciate any comments you have.

As you will see from this newsletter, the SRMS Executive has been very active this year in our efforts to serve you, our members. The Chicago program looks outstanding, with something for everyone. Few realize how much time and effort goes into organizing these sessions and a special thanks goes to Cathy Dippo, our Program Chair. We also have a number of Luncheon Round Tables, and I would like to thank Mary Mulry, our Program Chair-Elect, for organizing those.

I hope I will get a chance to meet you at the Chicago meetings. Please introduce yourself if you see me there. Don't forget the Opening Reception on Sunday night and our Section Business Meeting & Mixer on Wednesday at 6:00 PM. I will be giving out a Special Award at the Business Meeting.

One of our developments this year has been our SRMSNET. This is described later in the newsletter, but I would like to give special thanks to the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland for running this service for us.

A lot of work also went into the development of our Web pages. We are looking for suggestions on how these can be improved. Bill Kalsbeek, our Publication Officer, went all out in developing an attractive set of pages with lots of information about our Section.

Well, by the time we meet in Chicago, your Executive will have almost five months left in their mandate, so we are really interested in your input. See you in Chicago!! Please feel free to write me at

InterCASIC '96 Update

If a few days in south Texas doesn't sound too appealing to you during the current heat wave, remember that InterCASIC '96 is coming to San Antonio, Texas, December 11-14, 1996 ... The International Conference on Computer-Assisted Survey Information Collection (CASIC) is the 6th in the series of American Statistical Association (ASA) conferences on survey methodology organized and co- sponsored by the Section. Other co-sponsors are the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the International Association of Survey Statisticians (IASS).

For purposes of this symposium, CASIC has been broadly defined to include the general application of computer technology to the entire process of collection, capture, and preparation of survey data. In addition to invited monograph presentations, the conference will feature contributed papers, providing insight into current and future CASIC methods, and demonstrations, which will provide an interactive forum to showcase automated systems and their software. (The Preliminary Invited Program is provided on the next two pages.) As with past conferences in this series, an edited monograph that provides a comprehensive and current review of CASIC methods will be published. A special issue of the Journal of Official Statistics will also be devoted to the best contributed papers at the conference.

InterCASIC '96 Preliminary Invited Program (The program for contributed papers and demonstrations will be available on the Web site later in July.)


Wednesday, December 11-- Workshops, Opening Plenary Session, & Reception

Thursday, December 12 & Friday, December 13 -- Papers & Demos: 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM Exhibits: 10:30 AM - 6:30 PM

Saturday, December 14 -- Papers & Demos 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM


The History and Development of CASIC -- Mick P. Couper, University of Michigan and Joint Program in Survey Methodology, & William Nicholls, U.S. Bureau of the Census


Development and Implementation of CASIC in Government Agencies -- Cynthia Clark, National Agricultural Statistics Service, & Jean Martin, Office of Population Census and Surveys, U.K.

The Diffusion of Technological Innovation: Computer-Assisted Data Collection in the U.K. -- Martin Collins, City University, London; Colm O'Muircheartaigh, London School of Economics; & Wendy Sykes, City University, London

Integrating CASIC into Existing Designs and Organizations: A Survey of the Field -- Robert Groves, University of Michigan, & Robert Tortora, The Gallup Organization

Organizational Issues in Implementing CASIC Technologies in Small to Medium Size Organizations -- John Tarnai, Washington State University; John Kennedy, University of Indiana; & David Scudder, Boise State University


Steps and Issues Involved in Designing a Questionnaire for Computer-Assisted Interviewing -- William Mockovak, U.S. Bureau of the Census

A Systematic Approach to CAI Development -- Donna Jewell & Susan Kinsey, Research Triangle Institute

Strategies for Producing Data Collection and Data Editing Instruments for an Entire Program of Related Surveys -- Mark Pierzchala, National Agricultural Statistics Service, & Tony Manners, Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, U.K.

The Individualized Interview -- Dirk Sikkel, University of Amsterdam


Use of Computer-Assisted Interviewing for Longitudinal Surveys -- Anne Brown, Alison Hale, & Sylvie Michaud, Statistics Canada

Automated Coding of Survey Data -- Howard Speizer & Paul Buckley, Abt Associates, Inc.

Incorporating Experiments into Computer-Assisted Surveys -- Tom Piazza, University of California, Berkeley, & Paul Sniderman, Stanford University

Metadata Utilization: The Use of a Metadata Database for the Automation of Survey Processes and Outputs -- Karen Johnston, Statistics Canada

The Future of Data Editing: Micro-Editing or Macro-Editing? -- Jelke Bethlehem & Lon Hofman, Statistics Netherlands


Automated Call Scheduling: Current Practices and Evaluation of Alternative Strategies -- R. Suresh, Teresa Parsley, & Michael Weeks, Research Triangle Institute

Getting from There to Here: Electronic Data Collection in CASIC Field Surveys -- James Smith, Michael Rhoads, & Jane Shepherd, Westat, Inc.

CAPI Data Systems: Managing the Distributed Environment -- William Connett, University of Michigan

Survey Management Systems -- Lon Hofman, Statistics Netherlands, & James Grey, Office of Population Census and Surveys, U.K.


Human-Computer Interaction and CAPI Navigation -- Sandra Sperry, Brad Edwards, Richard Dulaney, Westat, Inc., & D.E.B. Potter, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research

Training Field Interviewers to Use Computers: Past, Present and Future Trends -- Mark Wojcik & Edwin Hunt, National Opinion Research Center

Comparison of Recording Error and Behavior Coding Between CATI and Paper-and-Pencil Data Collection -- James Lepkowski & Sally Sadosky, University of Michigan


Collecting Sensitive Information with Three Methods of Data Collection -- Tom Smith & Roger Tourangeau, National Opinion Research Center

Automated Self-Interviewing in Surveys -- Charles Turner, Barbara Forsyth, James O'Reilly, & Heather Miller, Research Triangle Institute

An Evaluation of 10 Years Experience with Computer-Assisted Interviewing Without Interviewers -- Willem Saris, University of Amsterdam

Data Collection via Computerized Self-Administered Questionnaires (CSAQ) -- Magdalena Ramos, Barbara Sedivi, & Elizabeth Sweet, U.S. Bureau of the Census

The Application of CASIC Technologies to Mail Surveys -- Don Dillman, Washington State University


Prospects and Principles for Pen CASIC -- David Uglow, Frederick Conrad, & John Bosley, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Establishment Surveys: Designing the Survey Operations of the Future -- George Werking & Richard Clayton, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Scanning and Optical Character Recognition in Statistics Production -- Evert Blom & Lars Lyberg, Statistics Sweden

The Use of Technology in Market Research in Europe -- Bill Blyth & Heather Piper, Taylor Nelson AGB, London The Future of CASIC -- Reginald Baker, Market Strategies, Inc.


Registration materials will be mailed in August. For more information or to get on the mailing list, contact Mick Couper -- phone: (301) 405-9523; fax: (301) 314-7912; e-mail:; Lee Decker -- phone: (703) 684-1221 ext.145; fax: (703) 684-8069; e-mail:; or see the Web site: .


SRMSNET Joins the Big Leagues!

Thanks to growing interest from Section users and their friends, SRMSNET recently graduated from a personal group to a full fledged listserv. This means automatic administration, message archives, and standard listserv commands. Current SRMSNET members must switch to the new list. If you are a new user or an original list member who has not yet switched lists, all you need to do is send a message to and, in the body of the message, type subscribe SRMSNET John Doe (substitute your own name for John Doe ). Within 5-10 minutes you should receive confirmation of your subscription and instructions on how to post or get information. Special thanks to Christie Nader, at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology, for her help with the SRMSNET!

And, what do you get for your efforts? Well, at long last, activity seems to be picking up quite nicely on the SRMSNET. In addition to a preview of the SRMS Newsletter, we've seen announcements about upcoming conferences and seminars; job postings -- one member wrote in to compliment the SRMSNET as a very useful source for candidates; and information on new products and services -- recently some new software was offered free of charge, as a means of obtaining feedback on it during the final production stages. Users have also inquired about where to locate information on a particular topic and sought clarification on the technical meaning of statistical terms. A question about good books on pps sampling led to some lively exchanges; another inquiry about an inexpensive alternative software for data analysis really got things jumping!

Many thanks to all of you who have written in to the SRMSNET! We especially hope to see more dialogues on survey methodology and related issues. So, keep those cards and letters coming in!

What Is a Survey?

The quantitative literacy brochures in the Section's series on survey methodology -- What Is a Survey? -- are proving very popular! Requests -- especially from university professors and local school systems -- have led to a reprinting of the title brochure and diminishing supplies of the next two in the series -- How to Plan a Survey and How to Collect Survey Data. (Electronic copies are available through the SRMS Web site at: .) The series is aimed at individuals who participate in surveys or use survey results. By promoting an understanding of what is involved in carrying out sample surveys of human populations, hopefully, the brochures will lead to more and better uses of survey data.

This August, the latest addition is due to be released -- Judging the Quality of a Survey. It profiles many of the problems that may occur in a survey and presents some of the popular remedies for these problems. By knowing what can go wrong in surveys and what can be done about it, one can more effectively judge the quality of a survey and its findings. Special thanks go to Bill Kalsbeek, for writing this particular segment.

Not being ones to let a good thing go, SRMS is now moving ahead with other brochures for the series. Four new efforts, now in process, are:

Copies of at least two of the publications should be sent out to Section members by the end of the year. (Additional copies will be available electronically or can be ordered from the ASA Office for $.50 each.) The next two will probably be completed in early 1997.

As with the earlier segments, these brochures are intended to be a work in progress. Comments on improving the brochures or suggestions for new topics should be sent to Fritz Scheuren at George Washington University -- phone: (202) 994-6358; fax: (202) 994-6917; or by e-mail:

Headed for Chicago?

Look for SRMS members at Sunday evening's mixer!

Come to the Section's Business Meeting and Mixer -- Wednesday, August 7, 6:00 PM in the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Acapulco Room. Refreshments will be served!

Plan to join the SRMS Executive Committee for an informal social after the Business Meeting!

SSC Session at JSM

The Statistical Society of Canada invites you to attend their Survey Methods Section invited paper session on Composite-Type Weighting and Estimation in Repeated Surveys, Wednesday, August 7, 2:00-3:50 PM. The session consists of three papers that look at the effects of composite estimation -- by Avinash Singh, Statistics Canada; Janice Lent, Stephen Miller, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Patrick Cantwell, U.S. Bureau of the Census; and Mary Thompson, University of Waterloo -- with discussion by J.N.K. Rao, Carleton University.

And the Winner Is ...!

Congratulations and best wishes to the following newly-elected officers of the Section:

Section Chair (in 1998)
Donald B. Rubin
Harvard University
Program Chair (in 1998)
Elizabeth A. Martin
U.S. Bureau of the Census
Lars Lyberg
Statistics Sweden
Publications Officer (1997-1998)
Charles H. Proctor
North Carolina State University
Council of Sections Repr. (1997-1998)
Colm O'Muircheartaigh
London School of Economics & Political Science

Charter revisions were also approved, to bring the Section's charter into line with current practice. Thanks to all of you who took the time to vote!

Six New Fellows!

Six members of the Survey Research Methods Section were elected Fellows of the American Statistical Association and will be inducted at the 1996 Joint Statistical Meetings in Chicago. Hearty congratulations go out to:

Many thanks to Jon Rao (Chair) and the SRMS Committee on ASA Fellows for their efforts on behalf of our outstanding members.

Newsletter Deadline...

Items for publication in the Winter 1996-1997 SRMS Newsletter should be submitted no later than November 1, 1996. Send items to Wendy Alvey at Statistics of Income CP:R:S:S:P, PO Box 2608, Washington, DC 20013-2608; phone: (202) 874-0455; fax: (202) 874-0964; or e-mail: .

In Memoriam -- Maria Gonzalez, 1932-1996

Members of the Survey Research Methods Section lost a good friend and long-time associate this February, when Maria Elena Gonzalez Mederos died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest. Gonzalez, 63, was vacationing with family in Puerto Rico when she died.

Gonzalez was an internationally-known statistician who lived and worked in Washington, DC most of her adult life. Born in Cuba, she was educated at Havana University, in the U.S., and in England -- at the University of Chicago (BA, 1953), London School of Economics (MSc, 1963), and Columbia University (MA, 1968). After teaching at Columbia, Gonzalez worked at the Bureau of the Census from 1970-1974. She, then, joined the Statistical Policy Division of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where she remained until her death.

Maria Elena Gonzalez is, perhaps, best known for founding and chairing the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (FCSM) at OMB, where -- over the course of 20 years -- she was instrumental in drawing together some of the best statistical minds in the Federal government to work on common problems. Under her leadership, the FCSM was extremely productive -- responsible, among other things, for the Federal Statistical Policy Working Papers series of reports, mentioned in the February 1996 newsletter. Her vision, energy, and gentle persistence were instrumental to this success. She also earned international recognition for her work in improving the quality of international statistics in Latin American and the Caribbean region and headed the U.S. delegation to the 1985 meeting of the UN Economic Commission for Europe's Conference of European Statisticians.

Gonzalez was extremely active in the Association both nationally and locally. Among other honors, she was elected President of the Washington Statistical Society, Fellow of the American Statistical Association, and Fellow of the International Statistical Institute.

In addition, Gonzalez found time to serve as treasurer and trustee of Of Human Rights, an organization which gathers and disseminates information about the human rights situation in Cuba. For over 20 years she worked to secure the release of political prisoners in Cuba, including Ernesto Diaz Rodriguez, a writer whose poetry she translated into English. SRMS has made a donation in her memory to Of Human Rights, Freedom House, 1319 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036.

Upcoming Conferences...

Seminar on Statistical Methodology in the Public Service.-- The Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS) will host this two-day seminar November 12-13, 1996, in Bethesda, MD. The focus will be on new and updated topics explored by the Statistical Policy Working Paper series, developed under the auspices of the Office of Management and Budget's Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology. Subjects will include electronic data dissemination, measuring customer satisfaction, training Federal statisticians, performance measurement, data sharing for statistical purposes, reinvention of economic classifications, quality in survey data, administrative records, and cognitive research. For information, contact Ed Spar or Susan Cohen at COPAFS -- phone: (703) 836-0404.

Symposium 96: Nonsampling Errors.-- On November 13-15, 1996, Statistics Canada will sponsor the 13th annual international methodology symposium, which will explore issues and experiences related to nonsampling errors occurring in censuses, sample surveys, and administrative data. The focus of the Ottawa conference will be on prevention, reduction, and evaluation of nonsampling errors arising from processes associated with planning and management, frames, nonresponse, and measurements. For more information, contact Eric Rancourt, at Statistics Canada -- phone: (613) 951-5046; fax: (613) 951-1462; e-mail: .

InterCASIC '96.-- To be held December 11-14, 1996, in San Antonio, Texas. See pages 3-5 for the Preliminary Invited Program. Registration materials will be mailed in August. For more information, contact Mick Couper -- phone: (301) 405-9523; fax: (301) 314-7912; or e-mail: -- or Lee Decker -- phone: (703) 684-1221 x145; fax: (703) 684-8069; or e-mail: . For information on the World Wide Web, see .

Call for Papers

Record Linkage Workshop.-- The Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics of the National Academy of Sciences, the Washington Statistical Society, and the Bureau of the Census will co- sponsor a one-day workshop on record linkage in Washington, DC, March 21, 1997. Record linkage involves the merging and unduplication of lists that may be used as survey frames and in conjunction with administrative lists. The focus of the conference will be to highlight new developments in methodology, practice, and technology, including privacy, security, and disclosure issues. Invited presentations, contributed papers, and software exhibits will be accepted. Abstracts are now being sought for talks and proposals for software presentations. For more information, contact Fritz Scheuren, George Washington University; phone: (202) 994-6358; fax: (202) 994-6917; or e-mail: . Abstracts due January 3, 1997.

Design and Analysis of Complex Sample Surveys.-- The Research and Social Statistics Sections of the Royal Statistical Society are planning a joint half-day meeting on methodological issues in the design and analysis of complex sample surveys. The aim of the conference -- to be held May 1997 in London, England -- is to bring together design-based and model-based researchers to explore both common ground and critical differences in their approaches, theory, and practice. Papers comparing both approaches are especially welcome. For more information, contact David Draper, University of Bath; phone: +44-1225-826222; fax: +44-1225-826492; e-mail: ; or see http://www.bath. . Written submissions will be due September 30, 1996.

IASS/IAOS Satellite Meeting on Longitudinal Studies.-- The International Association of Survey Statisticians (IASS) and the International Association of Official Statistics (IAOS) are among co-sponsors of a 3-day meeting on Longitudinal Studies, August 27-29, 1997, in Jerusalem, following the International Statistical Institute's meetings in Istanbul. The conference will cover design and analysis of sample surveys (prospective and retrospective), in which the same units are investigated with respect to several points in time or over periods of time -- e.g., panel surveys. The focus of the papers will be on the longitudinal component and the special problems posed by longitudinal surveys. The first two days will be devoted to methodological research results in longitudinal surveys -- including theoretical models, design issues, practical issues of data collection and processing, longitudinal analysis, measurement and other nonsampling errors, and weighting and imputation strategies. The last day will consist of a workshop on case studies which reflect the methodological innovations and most current practices in longitudinal surveys. For more information, contact Gad Nathan, Central Bureau of Statistics, Jerusalem -- phone: +972-2-6553-371; fax: +972-2-6522-319; or e-mail: gad@olive.mscc.huji.; or see: Abstracts due December 31, 1996.

Oops! ....

The correct e-mail address for Data Quality journal is .

Treasurer's Report

The latest budget figures -- hot off the press -- confirm our estimates that the Section's finances are in good shape. Our largest source of revenue continues to be from sales of the Proceedings. SRMS also receives revenues from past conferences sponsored by the Section and from dues -- at $2.00 a year, they are among the lowest available! As far as expenditures go, funds have been set aside to cover publication of the series What Is a Survey?; to produce the Proceedings; to provide seed money for InterCASIC '96; to support the Council of Section's effort to establish a Web site at ASA, and to help restore two Morris Hansen videotapes in the ASA Continuing Education video library. Meanwhile, membership figures for the Section remain about the same -- 1,412 as of April 1996.

A New Quality Profile

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently release the Residential Energy Consumption Survey Quality Profile (RECS). RECS is a periodic survey that combines data from household interviews, utility company records, rental agents, and weather records to provide information on energy consumption, expenditures, and related characteristics of U.S. households. The Quality Profile documents the survey design and operations and summarizes the latest results. For information on copies, contact EIA's National Energy Information Center at (202) 586-8800.

Best Wishes...!

The SRMS Executive Committee extends hearty best wishes and many many thanks to both Doris Moss and Rosemary Redden -- two long-time fixtures in the ASA Office. Both are recent retirees. Moss, who's official title was Senior Meeting Planner, was an invaluable resource who juggled not only meetings schedules and plans, but innumerable other details. Redden -- better known as the voice of ASA -- was the ASA Receptionist for years and years; her cheerful greetings and helpful efforts have long been appreciated by lost and confused ASA members. They'll both be sorely missed!

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