Researchers have struggled with decreases in response rates in surveys using traditional methods. Dropoff/pick-up (DOPU) surveys are an alternative that performs well in some research situations. For studies in small or compact geographic areas, DOPU has achieved higher response rates than mail surveys, although typically at higher costs due to labor and transportation. Other benefits include increased local awareness of research projects and improved outcomes for complex survey projects. Social exchange theory would explain the success of DOPU as due to the method’s personal interaction. Many researchers are unfamiliar with DOPU and prior instructive works are now dated. In an attempt to provide survey researchers another methodological tool, we review prior instructive works, comparative research on the method, and studies using DOPU for data collection. Applying social exchange theory to a synthesis of these prior works, we propose recommended practices for using DOPU and illustrate these with our own experiences.
Trentelman, Carla, Jessica Irwin, Kyle Petersen, Nallely Ruiz, and Caitlin Szalay. 2016. "The Case for Personal Interaction: Drop-Off/Pick-Up Methodology for Survey Research." Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 31(3): Article 4. Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/jrss/vol31/iss3/4