Progress in understanding survey data fabrication

In 1945, Leo Crespi wrote “The prevalence of so-called ‘cheating’ by interviewers in the process of obtaining public opinion and market research data has become an increasingly grave concern to responsible opinion researchers” (Crespi 1945). He could have said essentially the same today of all personal interview surveys, though the causes are much more complex now.

The forms of survey data fabrication we are now facing are also more diverse, and in some cases more insidious than individual interviewers sitting on the proverbial curbstone and making up survey responses. Bottom line, Crespi’s charge from 70 years ago remains pertinent.

“Any precise figures upon the incidence of fabrication are, in the nature of the case, difficult to obtain. But it is no secret that the prevalence and amount has been in many instances far from negligible, and it is widely agreed that the problem must be solved if the opinion research technique is to preserve its status as a reliable tool of inquiry.” ( Crespi 1945).

To explore Crispi’s conviction further, an international conference was held earlier this year at NORC’s offices in Bethesda, MD, bringing together researchers working on survey data fabrication issues in various capacities from around the world. The NORC conference was the fifth in a series of NORC events over the preceding 15 months. References, recordings, and websites for the papers and presentations from these five sessions can be found in the September issue of the IAOS Journal.

Please click here for the openly available article "Progress in understanding survey data fabrication"

The resulting papers, presentations, and conferences have moved the conversation forward in some important ways, both in terms of technical advancements, and in creating a community of like-minded professionals focused anew on fabrication threats.

In this sense, the conferences and sessions have been enormously beneficial, since the literature on fabrication remains underdeveloped relative to the seriousness of the problem. Some instances of apparent data fabrication have never been covered in the literature or dissected for the technical information on fabrication that may be available.

Contents Issues 32:3

DOI: 10.3233/SJI-161030

Progress in understanding survey data fabrication openly available
Koczela, Steve | Scheuren, Fritz
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-161026

Don't get duped: Fraud through duplication in public opinion surveys
Kuriakose, Noble | Robbins, Michael
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-160978

Comment on "Don't get duped: Fraud through duplication in public opinion surveys''
Spagat, Michael
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-160979

Assuring the quality of survey data: Incentives, detection and documentation of deviant behavior
Winker, Peter
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-161012

Validation of theoretical assumptions with real and falsified survey data
Landrock, Uta | Menold, Natalja
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-161020

Interviewer falsification: Current and best practices for prevention, detection, and mitigation
Murphy, Joe | Biemer, Paul | Stringer, Chris | Thissen, Rita | Day, Orin | Hsieh, Y. Patrick
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-161014

Evaluating a new proposal for detecting data falsification in surveys
Simmons, Katie | Mercer, Andrew | Schwarzer, Steve | Kennedy, Courtney
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-161019

Systems and processes for detecting interviewer falsification and assuring data collection quality
Thissen, M. Rita | Myers, Susan K.
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-150947

Regular papers

Guidance rules for deriving indicators for process and chain management at NSIs
van Delden, Arnout | de Wolf, Peter-Paul
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-160974

Technology, education and the statistical system in Algeria
Bourezgue, Tarik
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-160961

Avoiding gender bias in agricultural surveys: An official statistics guide for data collection and dissemination
Ayhan, H. Öztaş
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-160970

Calibration for nonresponse treatment: In one or two steps
Andersson, Per Gösta | Särndal, Carl-Erik
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-160996

Summarizing data using partially ordered set theory: An application to fiscal frameworks in 97 countries
Bachtrögler, Julia | Badinger, Harald | de Clairfontaine, Aurélien Fichet | Reuter, Wolf Heinrich
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-160973

Statistical evaluation of football performance depending on the socio-economic development of countries
Vorobyev, A. | Zarova, E. | Solntsev, I. | Osokin, N. | Zhulevich, V.
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-150952

New proposal for linkage error estimation
Tuoto, Tiziana
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-160995

Interview with Jean-Louis Bodin
Condon, Katherine
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-161004

Conversation with Nilupa Gunaratna
Shapiro, Gary | Condon, Katherine
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-161016

Interview with H.E. Butti Ahmed Mohamed Bin Butti Al Qubaisi on leading SCAD and hosting IAOS 2016
Baniyas, Raba'a
DOI: 10.3233/SJI-161025

Click here, for more information on the Statistical Journal of the IAOS, or visit