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End-of-Year SRMS Report from Past-Chair

1 January 2013 No Comment
John L. Czajka, SRMS Past-Chair

    During the past year, the survey profession and those who work in it continued to confront challenges brought to light most starkly in the political arena. Nowhere were the continuing declines in survey response rates and the growth in other operational issues more evident than in election polling. In addition, members of Congress introduced bills that threatened to eliminate or weaken a major survey and restrict a key tool in battling low response rates. In the end, survey science triumphed in the first area; the most rigorous election polls proved to be remarkably accurate. We are still waiting to see what comes of the proposed legislation.

    Our section depends on a strong cadre of volunteers. I would like to thank the other members of the executive committee and those who served the committee in other capacities for their contributions to the section during the past year. These include:

    Steve Cohen, past-chair
    Jill Montaquila, chair-elect
    Jill Dever, treasurer
    Rebecca Andridge, secretary
    Mike Larsen, program chair
    Frauke Kreuter, program chair-elect
    Tony An and Chris Moriarity, Council of Sections representatives
    Marilyn Seastrom, education officer
    John Finamore, publications officer
    Steven Pedlow and Ting Yan, newsletter editors
    Pushpal Mukhopadhyay, webmaster

    I especially want to thank the five who rotated off this group at the end of 2012—Steve, Mike, Tony, Steven, and Ting—for their years of service to the section.

    Against this backdrop, the Survey Research Methods Section (SRMS) has had another strong year, with an excellent program at the Joint Statistical Meetings, a well-attended business meeting, co-sponsorship of two successful conferences, the presentation of a number of student awards, and continued health in our membership numbers and treasury. For those of you who are section members, I refer you to the section’s January newsletter for details.

    I want to devote much of my remaining space to a couple of new benefits that have been added to SRMS membership, as it is rare that we can announce such things. Those of you who attended the section business meeting at JSM in San Diego learned of the first new benefit, but for most of you this will be news.

    Reflecting the vision of several members of the section, the Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology (JSSAM) will debut later this year. A joint effort between the American Statistical Association and American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), which publishes Public Opinion Quarterly, this peer-reviewed journal will provide a welcome, new venue for the kind of work in which many of the section members are engaged. The journal’s inaugural editors are Joseph Sedransk and Roger Tourangeau.

    Now to the member benefit. Oxford University Press, which also publishes Public Opinion Quarterly, will provide gratis JSSAM subscriptions to all members of SRMS for the first three years. After that, the ASA will pick up the cost, providing a strong incentive to maintain—or add—membership in the section.

    The second benefit involves webinars, which have become an important activity for many professional associations. Under an agreement being completed with AAPOR, members of SRMS and AAPOR will be able to sign up for each other’s webinars at the reduced member rate.

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