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Within the context of survey operations, mode refers to an employed method or approach used for the collection of data. For example, surveys may be conducted face to face, by telephone, mail, or Internet (the four most commonly used modes), or through other types of approaches (such as interactive voice response [IVR], disk-by-mail, etc.) or combinations of modes. Modes can differ along a number of dimensions, including whether an interviewer is present, how the questions are presented and the responses recorded, the infrastructure required, field time, and costs.

One of the primary distinctions between modes of data collection is the presence or absence of an interviewer. When an interviewer is present, the survey questions are generally read to the respondent, and the mode is referred to ...

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