Benefits (reasons for the Action)
Scientific: WEBDATANET will contribute towards the further development and improvement of the sound theoretical underpinning of web-based data collection. It will also improve the efficiency of web-based data collection processes and their use in social, behavioural and media sciences. It will provide the scientific community with a meeting and discussion forum of competitive specialists who will consider how to maximize the potential benefits and minimize the possible drawbacks of these new approaches. In addition, the Action will strengthen the importance and visibility of web-based data collection methods in the international arena by creating a sufficiently large and productive scientific community of web-based data collection researchers. Furthermore, with the development of new cross-national joint research activities (projects and proposals), the dissemination of results in the form of reports, articles and books, as well as the integration of the results into the educational programs of the participating researchers and groups, the Action will foster the establishment of a new research stream within social science methodology.
Societal: WEBDATANET aims at improving the integrity and legitimacy of web-based data collection. With such new forms of data collection, it is important that the results, which contribute towards public opinion formation and executive decision-making, have sound scientific underpinnings. Thus, not only collectors of web-based data but also society in general will benefit from research conducted as part of this Action. Moreover, WEBDATANET activities that lead to increased use of web-based data collection will also benefit society by reducing the amount of public money spent on data collection.