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Paradata, also termed process data (but not to be confused with metadata), contain information about the primary data collection process (e.g. survey duration, interim status of a case, navigational errors in a survey questionnaire). Paradata can provide a means of additional control over or understanding of the quality of the primary data (the responses to the survey questions).

Collecting Paradata

Since paradata are defined simply as data describing the primary data collection process, paradata can be collected in every survey mode. However, the amount, type, and level of detail of the captured paradata will vary depending on whether the data have to be manually recorded or whether they are automatically logged by computer software. A crude distinction can also be made between paradata describing the data collection ...

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