NEAAPOR Event on Data Fabrication: Feb 13th at Harvard

Preparations continue for the February event “New Frontiers in Preventing, Detecting, and Remediating Fabrication in Survey Research.” The event will be held on February 13th at Harvard, and is cosponsored by Harvard PSR, the American Statistical Association, and NEAAPOR.

Please view see full event details and register here if you would like to attend in person or stream the event live. Both are free.

Speakers include:

  • Gina Faranda – Director, Office of Opinion Research, U.S. Department of State
  • Michael Robbins – Project Director, Arab Barometer
  • Rita Thissen – Sr. Research Programmer/Analyst, RTI International
Discussants include:
  • Fritz Scheuren, NORC
  • Alan Zaslavsky, Harvard Medical School


This event is the second in a series, which will continue through the summer and into the fall. The first was held in December 2014 by the Washington Statistical Society, entitled “Curb-stoning: a Too Neglected and Very Embarrassing Survey Problem”. Both the slides (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and the full audio are now available for those who were unable to attend in person. This event is currently being written up by the panelists for submission to the Statistical Journal of the International Association of Official Statistics (IAOS).

Another event is planned for June with the Washington Statistical Society, and is in the planning stages. And a session on fabrication was accepted for the Total Survey Error conference in Baltimore, MD, to be held in September 2015.


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NEAAPOR Kickoff Event Summary

NEAAPOR held our re-launch event on October 17th, 2014 in Boston. The title was “The Midterms in New England: Polling Perspectives”. The panel was truly first rate, and covered both the upcoming elections as well as other issues of interest. The audience was a mix of practitioners and consumers, which made for a lively group. Below is an excerpt from the summary written by Brent Benson for WBUR’s Poll Vault. The full summary is well worth a read.

The demand for public opinion polling has never been greater. Once the purview of political operatives, survey results are now consumed by the masses. High information voters receive poll result notifications on their smartphones; polling aggregators such as Huffington Post Pollster update their polling charts and graphs hourly; and news organizations such as FiveThirtyEight and the Upshot use political poll results as inputs to complex probabilistic models attempting to predict election outcomes.

But as the demands for survey results grow, it is simultaneously becoming harder and harder to conduct high quality polls using the traditional and mathematically beautiful survey technique of random sampling. At a meeting last week in Boston of the New England chapter of the American Association for Popular Opinion Research, a group of top-tier pollsters weighed in on the problem.

The keynote for the evening was delivered by AAPOR President Michael Link. He offered his congratulations to our newly reconstituted chapter and explored a number of current topics in polling and survey research.  From Brent Benson’s summary.

“We are in a very trying time, some might say,” said Link. “But we have never lived in a time when people have more opportunities to express themselves, and there are more ways for us to measure public opinion than ever before.”

Link said the AAPOR will continue its mission of providing guidance on methods and transparency, while also expanding the organization’s scope beyond surveys to any technique for gauging public opinion, including social media analysis and data mining.

“Whether you are producing or consuming public opinion information, how do you know it is right?” asked Link. He then answered: “Standards and transparency are the key.”

His full remarks can be viewed here.

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NEAAPOR is back

We are pleased to announce the rejuvenation of the New England Chapter of AAPOR (NEAAPOR)! As our incorporation process nears completion, NEAAPOR is excited to start down the path of becoming a valuable part of the survey research community both locally and nationally. With a host of leading researchers working across many sectors and in many settings, we are looking forward to building NEAAPOR into a strong and vibrant chapter.

For the first year, NEAAPOR will focus on three main goals:

  • Organize a series of compelling workshops, lectures and panel discussions so that we can learn together and network with our fellow researchers in the area.
  • Grow our membership by reaching out to active AAPOR members who live in our area but are not yet current NEAAPOR members – as well as other non-AAPOR researchers.
  • Build a sustainable NEAAPOR infrastructure – contact lists, website, social media presence, sound financials, and so on – to put the chapter on solid footing for years to come.

New England covers a big region, so NEAAPOR will work to bring events to a city near you rather than holding all of them in one or two locations. In terms of topics, we also have a vast range of expertise represented in our membership, and could access top-level researchers on both substantive and methodological subjects of interest. So think creatively about topics and formats — and please let us know what you think.

Keep up with us on Twitter: @NEAAPOR.

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NEAAPOR on Twitter