Data collection using Web-based Forms

Thanks to a comment on an earlier post, Stephen Haptonstahl answered some of my questions and technical misgivings I had about setting up a larger user interface for collecting data via a webpage.  Specifically, he has an article in the Political Methodologist‘s from 2008 (the specific issue can be found here, starts on page 12) that details the set up for data entry using the web-based forms to compile data:

[…]Web-based forms provide some clear advantages: more than one person can enter data at a time without fear of writing over each other’s work; the data is stored on a server where it is (almost certainly) safer; the researcher can impose more structure on the data entered using pull-down menus, check boxes, and radio buttons. Two caveats: an Internet connection and some technical skills are required. However, if those entering the data will have Internet access and if you can create and upload a simple Web page, then this article fills in the rest, providing the tools you need to set up your own Web-based data collection form.

The article goes through both the details of setting up the forms, the programs needed, sample code, and finally how to test and make sure the form is behaving correctly.  Such design with a walk-through is more desirable, at this point, than the problems I have been encountering with Base thus far.  Thanks Stephen!

About Michael A. Allen

Michael is an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Boise State University with a focus in International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Methodology (quantitative and formal). His work includes issues related to military basing abroad, asymmetric relations, cooperation, and conflict. He received his Ph.D from Binghamton University in 2011.

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