Web Survey Mailer System (WSMS1.1)
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Nowadays, with the extended access to computers and more particularly to the Internet, web-based questionnaires are another tool available for sampling surveys. This document describes the use of the Web-based Survey Mailer System 1.1 (WSMS1.1), a computer package that administers surveys over the Internet. Created by David J. Solomon, WSMS consists in a bundle of HTML and PHP scripts taht sends out personalized emails inviting people (in a database) to fill out questionnaires while anonymously tracking the individuals, so reminder emails are sent only to persons who have not submitted the survey. For any particular application WSMS scripts have to be modified. WSMS1.1 was developed in a modular form so changes to the code are localized to only few scripts. This layout facilitates the survey administration, clearly separtating the tasks of the server side of the survey from the respondents side (the questionnaire and some information web-pages). In addition, a survey consent web-page has been included for the respondents explicitly agree or refuse to participate in the survey. Written more like a manual, however, this document explains some of the basics about web-servers and support software, so researchers with little experience with computers and systems and limited budget can have web-based surveys as another tool available for their investigations. WSMS1.1 ran successfully under both Windows and Linux operation systems.