Thursday, 31 October 2013

Dr. Tim Snaith talks about the new MRS guidelines and what they mean to you

Dr. Tim Snaith talks about the new MRS guidelines and what they mean to you

In response to the increasing importance of mobile research and the need for greater data transparency and protection, the Market Research Society (MRS) has issued new mobile research guidelines.

Drafted in collaboration with The Australian Market and Social Research Society and The Council of American Survey Research Organisations (CASRO), the mobile guidelines are also the first international rules issued by the MRS. They provide global standards and best practices across a range of areas including types of mobile research, sample sourcing, passive data collection and geo-targeting, while also offering specific advice on national rules and legislation.

They also help to clarify what researchers need to do to ensure that they have obtained participants’ informed consent – thereby ensuring they are completely transparent about what data is going to be collected and how it will be stored, managed and used. At the same time, the guidelines provide rules to protect an individual’s anonymity and to require researchers to be clear about what information can and cannot be used, when it has come from a source other than the individual.

Tim Snaith, Chief Research Officer at OnePoint Global, explains what the new rules mean for OnePoint Global. “We welcome the work done to protect the mobile research channel. The speed at which mobile research has been adopted and the rapid changes in technology for researchers and participants alike, means it is important to have a framework in place that supports good practice. The first step towards formulating guidelines was taken in January 2011, when OnePoint Global and other experts formed the ESOMAR Project Team for Mobile Interactive Research. In October 2011, the MRS Mobile Insights Conference held a panel debate on ‘Is mobile research reliable, representative or rigorous enough?’ in which we took part, and a year later in November 2012, the first ESOMAR/ MMRA guidelines were issued (ESOMAR Guideline For Conducting Mobile Market Research).

It is important that researchers are aware of and follow the new guidance laid down by the MRS. It provides clear direction on the legal requirements in Australia, the United States and the UK. For other jurisdictions, researchers are advised to ensure they comply with any stricter local standards and rules that may apply. To avoid confusion or a non-consolidated approach to global self-regulation, we would therefore encourage other professional research associations to also collaborate – a single ‘Go to Source’ is a great way to ensure that the interests of researchers and participants engaged in multi-country mobile research are best served.”

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