Standard Definitions

Broadly, the term standard definitions refers to the generally accepted nomenclature, procedures, and formulas that enable survey researchers to calculate outcome rates for certain kinds of sample surveys and censuses. Specifically, Standard Definitions is the shorthand name for a booklet published by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) titled Standard Definitions: Final Dispositions of Case Codes and Outcome Rates for Surveys. Much of this entry is gleaned from that booklet.

At least two major survey organizations have formal definitions for outcome rates: AAPOR and the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO). Both organizations' formal definitions are easily accessible on the Internet. However, AAPOR provides an Excel spreadsheet response-rate calculator that makes it easy to calculate and track different outcome rates for different ...

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