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We do not claim to have produced an exhaustive study of all possible methods or fully examined all of the literature on any one of them.
However, we believe that we have at least identified the most prominent methods, and examined them in a balanced and objective way.
Making inferences for any probability or non-probability survey requires some reliance on modeling assumptions.
Those assumptions should be made clear to the user and evidence of the effect that departures from those assumptions might have on the accuracy of the estimates should be identified to the extent possible.
The risk depends on substantive knowledge and technical features. Whenever non-probability sampling methods are used, there is a higher burden than that carried by probability samples to describe the methods used to draw the sample, collect the data, and make inferences.
Too many online surveys consistently fail to include information that is adequate to assess their methodology.
In Section 3 we introduce some of the generic challenges of non-probability sampling, with a special focus on the difficulties of making inferences.
Assumptions should be evaluated for all the key estimates, and a model that works well for some estimates may not work well for others.Probability samples have a well-defined set of quality criteria that have been organized around the concept of Total Survey Error (TSE).Non-probability samples do not fit within this framework very well and some possible alternatives to TSE are explored.These models typically attempt to use important auxiliary variables to improve fit and usability.Once the model is formulated, standard statistical estimation procedures such as likelihood-based or Bayesian techniques are then used to make inferences about the parameters being estimated.