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August 27, 2010

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Web surveys can be extremely biased, because you have no additional information about your respondents (e.g. not likely to be a random sample); meanwhile, I believe it is a good practice to report the sample size when quoting a percentage from a survey -- you could also say "half of respondents considered switching to different software" when there were actually two respondents in total and one of them considered a switch. Personally I hate Newspaper-like titles...

Anyway, I'm happy to see the victory of WPS against (the proud) SAS.

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Update:

Hahh!!! Another possibility to get biased samples in web: I was not able to post the comment under Firefox 3.6.8 (Ubuntu) until I switched to Google Chrome! The 'Post' button was disabled no matter what I filled in. What if I don't have Chrome installed?

Thanks for letting me know about the posting problem Yihui. This blog is run by Typepad, I'll see if they have a solution about the Firefox/Ubuntu issue.

surprising results...and I agree that it would be a good idea to disclose survey details. The online tool SoGoSurvey has good features and an impressive survey bank.

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