In September 2008, the AAPOR Executive Council established an Opt-In Online Panel Task Force and charged it with “reviewing the current empirical findings related to opt-in online panels utilized for data collection and developing recommendations for AAPOR members.” The council further specified that the charge did not include development of best practices, but rather would “provide key information and recommendations about whether and when opt-in panels might be best utilized and how best to judge their quality.” The task force was formed in October 2008. This is its report.

Most online panels are not constructed using probability-based recruitment. Rather, they use a broad range of methods to place offers to join in front of prospective panelists. Those offers are generally...

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