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Institute for Social Research College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies

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Survey Panel Research at ISR

Survey Panel Participants 

Did you receive a survey panel invitation in the mail?

The Institute for Social Research periodically mails invitations to randomly selected households throughout California. If you received an invitation, please consider becoming one of our survey panelists!

You can enroll in the panel by going to the website in your survey invitation letter and completing a short profile survey with basic questions such as your age, household size, and work status. You will then be sent a survey every 3-4 months, asking you for your perspective on a range of issues. Responses from these surveys are always confidential and only reported as a group.

If you have received an invitation and have additional questions, please contact

Survey Panel Methodology

Survey panels consist of individuals who have agreed to participate in multiple surveys over time. Our survey panels are primarily administered online, but panelists also have the option of participating via paper surveys and, recently, we added the option for panelists to enroll and take surveys via text messaging. All surveys are also made available in Spanish. Panelists receive a $5 electronic gift card as an incentive for completing each survey.

Online survey panels have become a preferred alternative to the traditional “Random Digit Dialing” considering declining response rates and reliability associated with telephone surveys. Examples of other established survey panels include Ipsos’s Knowledge Panel, Yougov’s Omnibus Panel, the National Opinion Research Center (NORC)’s Amerispeak Panel, and the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel. These and other research panels are increasingly using probability-based sampling methods (defined as a randomized selection process where everyone in the population has a chance of being invited to participate).

The Sacramento Regional Survey Panel is an ongoing research collaboration between the Institute for Social Research and Valley Vision. Survey data informs policymakers and stakeholders on key regional issues by providing on-the-ground public engagement data. The survey panel is made up of approximately 3,000 randomly selected households from Sacramento, Yolo, El Dorado, Placer, Sutter, and Yuba counties.

Using Survey Panels for Your Research

The Institute for Social Research’s panels blend scientific rigor with a commitment to place-based research that can provide insights about some of the most important issues facing residents today. The survey panels are available for fielding questions by other researchers and organizations. Please contact Dr. Julia Tomassilli, Associate Director for more information, including our current cost-schedule.