E-Net News

Elon Poll named a charter member of national transparency program

Led by faculty members Kenneth Fernandez and Jason Husser, the poll is taking part in an initiative created by the American Association of Public Opinion Research to encourage openness in the way survey firms share their findings.

The Elon University Poll has been named a charter member of the Transparency Initiative, a program created by the American Association of Public Opinion Research to educate polling firms on ways to better share how they collect and interpret their information.

The Transparency Initiative launched in late 2014 and Elon University Poll leaders were informed this week of their acceptance into the program.

“The Elon Poll is proud to be a part of this process because we have always believed in and practiced transparency and being as specific and detailed about our methodology and procedures as possible,” said Assistant Professor Kenneth Fernandez, director of the Elon University Poll. “This is a very important initiative that allows consumers of polling information full information on how survey data are collected."

The voluntary participation signified the Elon University Poll's willingness to clearly state in its reports how questions were asked, in what order, who funded the poll and then conducted it, and a definition of the population under study, among other details.

While the Elon Poll encourages journalists to suggest questions and occasionally conducts community surveys in coordination with local nonprofit organizations, pollsters perform no contract work and see their role as one that provides a public service to the region and state.

Information from polls is shared with media, citizens and public officials to facilitate informed public policy making through the better understanding of citizens’ opinions and attitudes. Polls are conducted three times each semester.

“It is nice that AAPOR has thought long and carefully about these requirements and that there is now a clear standard and guide for scholars and practitioners to use when presenting their results,” Fernandez said of the initiative.

Charter members of the AAPOR Transparency Initiative include:

  • Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion
  • Elon University Poll
  • Center for Social and Behavioral Research at the University of Northern Iowa
  • Monmouth University Polling Institute
  • Marist Poll
  • Gallup Organization
  • National Research Center, Inc.
  • The Public Policy Institute of California
  • University of Nebraska Bureau of Sociological Research
  • Quinnipiac University
  • ICF International
  • Abt SRBI
  • The Public Religion Research Institute
  • The Washington Post
  • Langer Research Associates
  • SSRS
  • Kaiser Family Foundation Public Opinion and Survey Research Group
  • Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College
Eric Townsend,
1/17/2015 1:00 PM