Social Research Association annual conference: ‘Social Research in the Digital Age’

British Library, 10 December 2012

Lisa Calderwood

Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education

The use of new technologies on the British Birth Cohort Studies

In recent years, there has been a rapid increase in the use of new technologies such as web-enabled portable devices (i.e. smartphones and tablets) and social media (e.g. Facebook and Twitter). There is also growing concern about rising costs and falling response rates on ‘traditional’ surveys. In this context, many large-scale surveys are considering using the web for data collection, and the cutting edge of survey practice internationally is exploring how to leverage these new technologies for participation engagement and real-time data collection. Indeed, some commentators have argued that these advances will lead to a paradigm shift in the way that social data are collected, and the beginning of a ‘post-survey data capture era’ (Link 2011).