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How To Avoid Undercoverage Bias In Survey Research?

by janeausten
Undercoverage Bias

Research is a reliable way to get insights into a particular problem and pursue your interest. It gives you a chance to challenge and develop research and problem-solving skills. Also, you get the opportunity to apply different theoretical concepts in real-time. In research work, you can find different types, and survey research is one of them. Survey research is a quantitative method which aims to collect the required information from the targeted audience by asking designed questions. This method demands the recruitment of individuals to collect data for research. After collecting the required data, you have to analyze it and find the best suitable results for logical discussion. This is the easiest method of research if you know how to deal with undercoverage bias. Therefore, this article aims to discuss the ways to avoid undercoverage bias in survey research. 

What is Undercoverage Bias in Research?

In survey research, one of the most important factors is to target the potential audience, which can play a vital role in making your research reliable. When you remain unable to target the potential audience, or you miss a particular section of the population, it is taken as an undercoverage bias in survey research. This mistake turns the whole view of research, that is why researchers highly focus on it and find ways to avoid it. This aspect directly affects the legitimacy of research. You should be aware of its causes; you can avoid them to have the best end results. 

The undercoverage bias is observed at the time of data sampling. You have to critically organize the sampling task and cover the supposed area and respondents. If you fail in collecting samples from a significant entity, then it is obvious to have a weighty difference in results. 

For example, you are supposed to research the effects of narcotics on kidney patients. In this case, you are supposed to cover all new and old patients. You can conduct this research in three ways. 

  • The first way is to conduct research and skip new patients of a kidney. 
  • The second way is to conduct research and skip old patients. 
  • Thirdly and lastly, target the new and old both patients and conduct research. 

At the end of conducting all three researches, you will find that the last research has reliable and effective results. In the first two cases, you have ignored a significant section of the audience. That is why, the results obtained would not be of any use. 

How To Avoid Undercoverage Bias In Survey Research? 

Following are the ways which can help you avoid undercoverage bias in survey research:

Do Not Go for Convenient Sampling Method 

One of the most commonly observed reasons for undercoverage bias is the wrong selection of samples. In convenient sampling, you are not bound to cover particular respondents, but you are free to go for any participant as per your choice and ease. In this case, the chances of missing a particular section increase, so you must avoid it in survey research. 

Go for the Adequate Knowledge of Population

The novel researchers usually lack in knowledge of the population. If you have the same problem, you should ask experts and learn about the role and selections of the audience. Also, you can learn how to target and avoid undercoverage bias. In this case, you can contact experts working at PhD dissertation writing services.

Deal with Lack of Resources 

Based on the level of research and its complexity, you have to see the availability of research. With a lack of resources and funds, you may target small sample size and ignore a weighty audience. In case your research requires funds, the availability of sponsorship and grants matter a lot. So, you must make arrangement for it. 

Craft Effective Survey Design and Strategy 

There are different types of survey research methods based on time and medium. In the case of medium, the following methods are best to use:

Online Survey Research Method

In survey research methods, you can see high use of an online medium. Sometimes, researchers use it as a cost and time-effective way to conduct research. On the other hand, it can be the only way to collect data for research. The phase of COVID was the best example when researchers were bound to use the online survey research method. In such a situation, undercoverage bias can be avoided, and you can collect effective data through online means rather than physical one. 

Face to Face Survey Research Method

It is one of the ways to get factual data, but it may not be budget-friendly for you. In a face-to-face survey, you can conduct an interview. Rather than missing a section of the respondent, you can take an interview in group form as well. In the case of a group survey, you can save your money, effort, time and research from undercoverage bias.


When you have to cover multiple areas, then the phone is an effective medium. No doubt, it requires way more effort and time to get responses. The main point is that you can cover different sections of the population for research and avoid undercoverage bias. 

Keep an Eye on Time Limit 

In contrast to medium, you can classify survey research methods based on time. It covers longitudinal and cross-sectional survey research methods.

  • In the longitudinal research method, you have to target a particular time phase. For example, you want to study the behaviour of senior citizens in different phases of COVID. In this, you have to go for a particular duration of time and avoid undercoverage bias. 
  • The cross-sectional survey research covers a descriptive or analytical approach to collecting data in a particular time interval. In this method, you can target any sector, including educational as well as organizational.  

Final Thoughts 

There is no compulsion for the question type in survey research study, you can use a blend of close-ended questions and open-ended questions. With question type, you have to take great care of respondents and target them effectively to avoid undercoverage bias. You should ensure that all the significant sections have been covered accurately. The above-mentioned points can help you very well in this regard.

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