Preparing for social science research studies is a science in itself.
While Our Method describes the scientific process by which we work, we apply seven practices to ensure the high quality results our collaborators expect.
Each SoundRocket project involves a thorough review across these seven areas of practice. Decades of scientific method have gone into their formation, so that they result in success when implemented.
The most important piece of the seven areas of practice is their method of implementation. Every SoundRocket employee is empowered to review and question the quality of our product/service - including the ability to raise a concern prior to study launch. We all share responsibility for the successes and failures together.
The SoundRocket Seven Practices
We build collaborative working relationship with all research teams. At the heart of our service, this collaboration is the basis for more deeply understanding the goals and trade-offs required to execute a quality study. Without fail, we always establish a common understanding with collaborators. Practicing transparency ensures our collaborators have a voice at the table prior to any study launch.
We emphasize data early, and our collaborations become about achieving specified data goals. We address data expectations and review data at strategic steps in the development of a study. Specifically, the first test of any data collection instrument is in looking at the data generated. Data checks continue throughout the entirety of data collection.
THREE: Study Methodology
Every SoundRocket study is reviewed by a methodologist. With a known data outcome defined, the study methodology must meet data goals and determine/communicate trade-offs. Study Methodology keeps our focus on the reduction of survey errors (sampling, measurement, coverage, non-response).
The questions and answers in a social science research study are the common tools researchers use to measure various elements of human behavior. Today, this includes any other mechanism by which we capture data from humans, from mobile geolocation data to innovative Bluetooth bio-collection devices. The root of every questionnaire is a well documented questionnaire specification, which serves as a platform for the other practices.
FIVE: Human Subjects
SoundRocket maintains the highest standards when it comes to Human Subjects. We go beyond what is required by IRBs or Ethics Committees, treating all research subjects as if they were family. We refuse to participate in any non-ethical research or anything that leads to unnecessary harm to respondents. regardless of who has given permission for the research completion. Where appropriate, we seek and acquire necessary approvals for our studies.
SIX: Sample Management
Sample Management covers the practices we use to bridge the communication gap between the researcher(s) and the study participants. This includes respondent communications, effective scheduling of study tasks, and ongoing data collection support. A solid sample management plan provides a platform for science implementation - especially today, where study implementations change live with responsive study designs.
Social science meets computer science in programming, and SoundRocket has developed the art of communication between these two paradigms. Programming often includes traditional computer instructions for web-based surveys. We also include any methodology where we take the questionnaire and put it into the final form for respondents in this area of practice. For example, we approach the development of a mail survey very similarly as we do a web-based survey. Study methodology implementation often requires both programming and communication with a sample management system. We practice industry (computer science, print, and research) standards in this area.