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BMC Res Notes. 2019 Feb 28;12(1):113. doi: 10.1186/s13104-019-4146-y.

Altruistic donation to improve survey responses: a global randomized trial.

Author information

1
Department of Urology, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, University of California, San Francisco, 1001 Potrero Suite 3A, San Francisco, CA, 94110, USA.
2
Department of Urology, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, University of California, San Francisco, 1001 Potrero Suite 3A, San Francisco, CA, 94110, USA. Benjamin.Breyer@ucsf.edu.
3
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA. Benjamin.Breyer@ucsf.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Web-based platforms have revolutionized the ability for researchers to perform global survey research. Methods to incentivize participation have been singularly focused on European and North American participants with varied results. With an ever increasing proportion of biomedical research being performed in non-western countries, assessment of novel methods to improve global survey response is timely and necessary. To that end, we created a three-arm nested randomized control trial (RCT) within a prospective cohort study to assess the impact of incentives on survey responsiveness in a global audience of biomedical researchers.

RESULTS:

Email invitations were sent to authors and editors involved in online publishing totaling 2426 participants from 111 countries. Overall we observed a 13.0% response rate: 13.3% for the control group, 14.4% for a group entered to win a gift card, and 11.1% for a group whose participation lead to donation to charity (p = 0.17). Year of publication nor country impacted response rate. Within subgroups, editors were significantly less likely to respond to the survey as compared to authors (6.5% vs. 18.9%; p-value < 0.01). With power to detect a 4.8% difference among groups, we could not detect an impact of incentives on global survey response.

KEYWORDS:

Donation; Global; Incentives; Nested randomized control; Survey response

PMID:
30819217
PMCID:
PMC6396474
DOI:
10.1186/s13104-019-4146-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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