3.3. Data validity and accuracy

The use of unambiguous questions is critical. However, the clarity of any international questionnaire may well be culturally dependent. In the absence of a face-to-face or telephone interviewer to conduct the survey, the questions could be misunderstood by a respondent though this may not be immediately obvious. This would reduce the validity or accuracy of the response to the question asked. In self-administered surveys, the respondent is the locus of control and can spend as much time as s/he wants to consult records to answer detailed questions. Especially in telephone interviews, but also face-to-face, one may feel pressured to answer and not let the interviewer wait and give an estimate instead of looking up the correct answer.

Multi-stage manual data entry, such as is often involved in the collection of data in electronic form from paper questionnaires, completed by individual beekeepers, and then read and entered by another individual later, is error-prone and needs careful checking.