Term Definition

The practice of adapting interviewer behavior to the respondent’s expressed concerns and other cues, in order to provide feedback to the respondent that addresses his or her perceived reasons for not wanting to participate.

Synonyms - tailor
Target language
The language a questionnaire is translated into.
Target population
The finite population for which the survey sponsor wants to make inferences using the sample statistics.
Target variables
Variables created during the harmonization process.
An activity or group of related activities that is part of a survey process, likely defined within a structured plan, and attempted within a specified period of time.
Taylor Series variance estimation
A commonly used tool in statistics for handling the variance estimation of statistics that are not simple additions of sample values, such as odds ratios. Taylor series handles this by converting a ratio into an approximation that is a function of the sums of the values.
Team translation
Team approaches to survey translation and translation assessment bring together a group of people with different talents and functions in the team so as to ensure the mix of skills and discipline expertise needed to produce an optimal translation version in the survey context. Each stage of the team translation process builds on the foregoing steps and uses the documentation required for the previous step to inform the next. In addition, each phase of translation engages the appropriate personnel for that particular activity and provides them with relevant tools for the work at hand.
A formal offer specifying activities to be completed within prescribed time and budget.

Timestamps are time and date data recorded with survey data, indicated dates and times of responses, at the question level and questionnaire section level. They also appear in audit trails, recording times questions are asked, responses recorded, and so on.

Synonyms - time stamps
Top coding
A type of coding in which values that exceed the predetermined maximum value are reassigned to that maximal value or are recoded as item missing data.
Total Survey Error (TSE)

Total survey error provides a conceptual framework for evaluating survey quality. It defines quality as the precise estimation and reduction of the mean square error (MSE) of statistics of interest.


The process of attempting to locate a sample element that changed contact information (e.g. address, telephone number, email address) since the last time the element’s contact information was collected.

Transformation algorithms
Changing the values of a variable by using some mathematical operation.
Translatability assessment
Translatability assessment is a recently developed process which aims to identify potential problems in translation and adaptation in the initial instrument development stage in the source language (Conway, Acquadro, & Patrick, 2014; Sperber et al., 2014). It evaluates to which extent, a question of interest can be meaningfully translated.
The person who translates text from one language to another (e.g., French to Russian). In survey research, translators might be asked to fulfill other tasks such as reviewing and copyediting.
Trusted digital repository
A repository whose mission is to provide reliable, long-term access to managed digital resources to its designated community, both now and in the future.